Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) has just resolved to cancel all unused ballot papers by crossing them in the forthcoming general elections.
This was one of the fine-tuning the
Guidelines and Regulations For The Conduct of 2015 General Elections and The Manual For Election Officials 2015. The resolution was taken today after a rigorous meeting of all the INEC stakeholders, including the Resident Electoral Commissioners (REC), Political Parties and the inputs of its Legal Services Department as well as the Commission’s Consortium of Lawyers.
The guidelines are as follows:
At the close of voting, the Presiding Officer shall:
(a.) Cancel all unused ballot papers by crossing them;
(b.) Sort the ballots at 2 levels as follows:
(i.) Sort all wrongly deposited ballots and transfer them into their appropriate ballot boxes;
(ii.) Sort out the ballots by party and thereafter loudly count the votes scored by each party in the presence of the polling agents and observers.
2.8.2 Sorting Procedure
There shall be 2 levels of sorting namely:
(a.) Sorting for wrongly deposited ballot; and
(b.) Sorting by party
(A.) Sorting for Wrongly Deposited Ballots
The Presiding Official (PO) shall:
Step 1. Starting with the House of Representatives, sort out all wrongly deposited ballots;
Step 2. Transfer the ballots deposited in the wrong box, to their appropriate ballot boxes;
Step 3. Return the other ballots into the ballot box.
Repeat steps 1, 2 and 3 above for the Senatorial and Presidential Elections
(B.) Sorting by Party
The Presiding Officer (PO) shall:
Step 1. Starting with the House of Representatives, sort out the ballots into separate piles for each party and one pile for rejected ballots.
Step 2. Sort out the ballot papers by party and thereafter loudly count the votes scored by each party in the presence of the polling agents and observers.
Step 3. Write the word “REJECTED” on the front of every rejected ballot.
Step 4. Show all rejected ballots to the Polling Agents and Observers present.
Step 5. Where any objection against such a rejection is raised by a Candidate or Polling Agent, write the word “Rejected but objected to” on the front of the ballot.
Step 6. Count and record the quantity of the rejected ballots and their serial numbers on Form EC 40B.
Step 7. Put all rejected ballots in envelop EC 50A.
Step 8. Count and Record the quantity of Tendered ballots on Form EC 40F. (Tendered Ballot Statement)
Step 9. Put all Tendered Ballots in the envelope provided.
Follow steps B(1)-B(9) above in the case of the Senatorial and Presidential Elections.
Follow the same procedure above for sorting and counting of ballots for the governorship and house of assembly elections, beginning with the House of Assembly Elections.