INEC Seeks Electoral Act Amendment to Allow Voting for Officials on Election Days

INEC Seeks Electoral Act Amendment to Allow Voting for Officials on Election Days

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) recently expressed its intention to request an amendment to the 2022 Electoral Act through the National Assembly.

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The proposed amendment aims to grant the right to vote to INEC officials and others working on election days.

Prof Mahmoud Yakubu, the Chairman of INEC, made this announcement during a post-election review meeting with media stakeholders in Lagos.

Enabling Voting for Journalists and Security Agents on Duty

Prof Yakubu emphasized the need for certain groups, such as journalists and security agents (policemen, soldiers, etc.), to have the opportunity to cast their ballots during elections, even while performing official duties.

Currently, the law restricts voting to the polling units where individuals are registered.

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This limitation has resulted in many Nigerians, including journalists, being unable to vote during elections because they work in locations different from where they are registered.

Expanding Voting Rights Beyond Registered Locations

The Chairman’s statement highlighted the challenges faced by journalists who were unable to exercise their voting rights due to their work commitments on election days.

The situation also applies to INEC officials, both regular and ad hoc, as well as security agencies involved in the electoral process.

As a result, INEC seeks to address this issue by engaging with stakeholders and considering their recommendations.

Through this process, they aim to identify specific areas in the existing electoral laws that require amendment to accommodate voting rights for officials and workers on election days.

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Collaboration with National Assembly for Legislative Change

In light of the identified issues, INEC plans to collaborate with the National Assembly to propose necessary amendments to the Electoral Act.

This legislative change aims to allow officials on duty, journalists, and security agents to participate in the democratic process and cast their votes despite being away from their registered polling units.

By engaging with various stakeholders, INEC hopes to create a more inclusive and accessible electoral system, enhancing the overall credibility and fairness of elections in Nigeria.

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