CLAIM: “If u go to vote on Saturday check d date behind d ballot paper, if it is 23rd u can vote. But if it 16th reject it n request for anode so that ur Vote will b counted.” – viral whatsapp message
EVIDENCE: Actually, the ballot paper was signed and stamped at the polling unit by the presiding officer. It is on the stamp that there is a date and this confirms the validity of the ballot paper.
Early hours of the rescheduled election on Saturday, the 23rd of February 2019, a message went viral on whatsApp saying “If u go to vote on Saturday check d date behind d ballot paper, if it is 23rd u can vote. But if it 16th reject it n request for anode so that ur Vote will b counted.”
To confirm this, a call was placed to Oluwole Osaze Uzzi, a Director at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) who responded that it was fake news and no ballot paper has a date behind it.
He said: “There is no date written behind the ballot paper. The Presiding officer at the polling unit will have to sign the ballot paper and stamp it. It is on the stamp that there is a date.”
To further confirm this, observers at the polling units were spoken to via phone calls and they are all disprove the claim.
“The presiding officer told the voters to check the ballot paper given to them for signature and stamp. The Presiding officer is the one writing the date on the ballot paper, giving it a stamp and signature”, said Alfred Olufemi, PTCIJ observer in Kwara State.
The same response gotten from the Observers in Anambra, Oyo and Jigawa States. They all confirmed that the presiding officer wrote the date of the election and other preparations at the back of the ballot paper before giving it to the voters.