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I feel disenfranchised – voter

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Staff of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) confirm ballot papers for house of representatives during the electoral preparation at a local office of INEC in Port Harcourt, southern Nigeria, on February 22, 2019, a day before postponed voting day.<br />Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP


As Nigerians cast their votes across the country today, a 60-year-old male, who’s chosen not to be identified, has left his polling unit after an hour, having found out he cannot vote.

Mr A. arrived Polling Unit 018, Wuse 2, Abuja, at about 9:30 and frantically searched for an hour the voter register posted on the wall. This reporter joined in the unsuccessful search.

An hour later, the presiding officer came around to resolve the confusion. Mr A. presented his credential – a temporary voter card – and the PO explained calmly that a TVC isn’t a valid tender since the card reader cannot recognise it.

“I feel disenfranchised,” he said. “I didn’t vote in 2015. I registered last year so I could vote. I’m aware of the PVC pick up campaign but I didn’t know I won’t be able to vote with my temporary card. I really wanted to vote but now I’ll just go back home.”

Only three of the four polling points at PU18, Wuse 2, are functioning and this has slowed down voting. Three back up card readers were tried at polling point 4 but none worked. Already, voters are lamenting the pace but have remained peaceful.


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