The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Electoral Act provides a legal framework for the conduct of elections in Nigeria. One section of the Act deals with the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on behalf of another person, also known as proxy voting.
According to the Act, a voter may appoint a proxy to collect their PVC on their behalf, provided that the proxy is a registered voter in the same polling unit as the voter. The voter must complete and sign a written authorization form, which must be presented to the electoral officer at the polling unit along with a valid form of identification.
The Act also specifies that a voter may only appoint one proxy, and that the proxy must collect the PVC in person. It is not permitted for the proxy to delegate this responsibility to another person.
In order to ensure the integrity of the electoral process, the Act requires that proxy voting be closely monitored by electoral officers. Any person who violates the provisions related to proxy voting may be subject to fines and imprisonment.
Overall, the INEC Electoral Act provides a clear set of rules for the collection of PVCs on behalf of another person, in an effort to ensure that all eligible voters are able to participate in the electoral process
The section of the INEC Electoral Act that deals with the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on behalf of another person, also known as proxy voting, is Section 45. I will provide the full text of this section below:
Section 45: Appointment of Proxy
(1) A voter may appoint in writing any other registered voter in the same polling unit as his proxy to vote for him.
(2) A voter shall not appoint more than one proxy.
(3) A voter who appoints a proxy shall complete and sign a written authorization form in the prescribed manner.
(4) A proxy appointed under this section shall, before being allowed to vote on behalf of the voter, produce to the electoral officer a written authorization from the voter and a valid identification.
(5) A proxy appointed under this section shall personally vote on behalf of the voter and shall not delegate his responsibility to any other person.
(6) The electoral officer shall closely monitor the voting by proxy and any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or imprisonment or both.
Implications of PVC Collection on Proxy
The collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on behalf of another person, also known as proxy voting, can have a number of implications for the electoral process. Here are a few possible implications:
- Increased convenience for voters: Allowing voters to appoint proxies to collect their PVCs on their behalf can be convenient for voters who are unable to collect their PVCs in person, such as those who are physically disabled or unable to travel to the polling unit.
- Potential for fraud: While proxy voting is intended to make it easier for voters to participate in the electoral process, it can also create opportunities for fraud. For example, a voter might appoint a proxy who is not a registered voter, or who does not actually collect the PVC on their behalf.
- Increased burden on electoral officers: Monitoring the collection of PVCs on behalf of another person can be time-consuming for electoral officers, who must verify the identity of the proxy and the validity of the written authorization form.
- Risk of intimidation: There is a risk that voters may feel pressure to appoint a particular person as their proxy, or that proxies may be influenced to vote a certain way. This could compromise the integrity of the electoral process.
- Complexity: Allowing proxy voting can add an additional layer of complexity to the electoral process, as there are additional rules and procedures that must be followed.
In conclusion, the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) on behalf of another person, also known as proxy voting, can be a useful tool for increasing participation in the electoral process, particularly for voters who are unable to collect their PVCs in person. However, it is important to ensure that the process is carefully monitored to prevent fraud and ensure the integrity of the electoral process. One way to do this might be to require proxies to present a valid form of identification and to verify the identity of the proxy and the voter through the written authorization form. Additionally, it may be helpful to educate voters about the importance of carefully selecting a trusted proxy and to encourage them to report any instances of fraud or intimidation.