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Votes counting procedures

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According to the National Elections Commission (NEC), voters must produce registration cards to vote and must appear on the Final Registration Roll (FRR). 

The data from the 5,890 polling places across the country will be announced at the headquarters of the National Elections Commission (NEC).

At the close of polls, the votes cast at each polling place will be counted at the poll in the presence of parties or candidates, agents, and independent observers present.

Each candidate’s vote(s) will be recorded on a five-page carbon copy document called the Record of the Count. 

Parties’ agents will be asked to sign each Record of the Count for the Presidential, Senatorial, and Representative elections. Being a carbon copy document, the information written on the original sheet will appear on the bottom four sheets. 

The original count sheet will be placed in a tamper-evident envelope in the presence of the parties/candidates’ agents and observers. The second sheet will be placed in the ballot box, which will be sealed; the seals’ serial numbers will be made known to the parties, candidates’ agents, and independent observers. 

The third sheet will be posted on the wall of the polling place for public viewing. The fourth sheet will be given to the candidate’s representative who obtained the highest votes, while the fifth sheet will be given to the candidate who obtained the second-highest votes.

After counting at the various polling places, the sealed ballot boxes and the tamper-evidence envelopes will be sent under police protection to the NEC magisterial office for tallying/tabulation, scheduled to commence on Oct. 11, 2023.

Parties or candidates’ agents and independent observers are present during the tallying. 

First, the original record of the count is taken from the temper-evidence envelope, and copies are made for everyone present. There is a projector in the tally room to show the result being typed from the record of the count for all to see. 

When the results for each polling place have been tallied, the information is printed, parties/candidates’ agents are asked to sign the tallied results, and copies of the signed results are distributed.

The saved results, which cannot be altered, are then sent from the magisterial office to the Data Center at the NEC’s headquarters where the results sent from each county, in the case of the presidential election, are totaled and submitted to the Board of Commissioners for announcement. 

The results announced by the Board can be easily verified using the count records from the various polling places along with the signed tally sheets that will be distributed to candidates’ agents, and observers and posted for public viewing.

In keeping with the new election law, the Commission is expected to announce or declare results in the course of fifteen days after voting. “The NEC will also announce provisional results as it receives county reports.”

“The presidential ballots will be counted first, followed by the senate and then House of Representatives ballot.” During the counting process, the only people allowed to be present are: “Accredited NEC officials, accredited Domestic and International observers, accredited party representatives, accredited journalists, and LNP.”

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