The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has debunked information flying around that it is only the index finger (pointer) that is acceptable for marking a ballot paper.
A viral social media message, especially on WhatsApp claimed thus:
“INEC has changed the pattern of voting without the majority of citizens being aware o!
You DON’T VOTE with YOUR THUMB ANYMORE …YOU Vote with Your INDEX FINGER( Warning Finger).
Any VOTE CAST WITH the THUMB is VOID (cancelled) vote…!
My question is Why were the citizens not sensitized up till Now…,
Why would INEC hide such important information till few days to the election…?
Pls, don’t only read this. SHARE for many would-be Voters to be aware.
The DESTINY OF THIS NATION is Now in our Warning or Prophetic Finger..!”
But INEC has now quashed the information that voting finger has been changed from the thumb to index finger.
INEC writes on their verified twitter handle:
“Fake News Alert: Any finger can be used for marking a ballot paper
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) February 13, 2019
INEC has made voting more easy by saying that a voter can either thumbprint or use any finger to print his/her choice political party column on the ballot paper.
Concise News understands that the argument being advanced for this license to use any finger to vote is that there are Persons With Disability (PWD) who may not even have a thumb or even an index finger. Such people can print the ballot paper using any finger. The vote is still valid.
INEC also recognise PWDs who have zero finger – that is, no finger at all. PWDs are Nigerians with equal rights of franchise. Therefore, INEC allows that such zero-finger registered voters were registered with biodata and not biometrics. As such, they have to be identified or certified using their Biodata as captured on the SCR (Serial Card Reader).
After the zero-finger or blind PWDs have been certified by the Presiding Officers using the Card Reader, such special voters are allowed to bring a trusted person to help them fingerprint the ballot paper.
The public is hereby advised not to allow hate rumour and fallacies to subvert their confidence in INEC’s preparedness, readiness and pursuit of fair play, equity and justice in the 2019 general elections.