Why Aren’t People Registering For Their Permanent Voter’s Cards?

August 10, 2018
Nigeria’s 2019 General elections are close, but what’s super close is the deadline to register to be eligible to vote.
On the 6th of July 2018, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said it’ll suspend the Continous Voter Registration (CVR) by 5pm, August 17. At the time of the announcement, the CVR was ending at 3pm, only on Mondays to Fridays. This timing clearly made it more difficult for working-class people to register.

INEC listened to feedback, and later announced that from August 1st, CVR will happen till 5pm everyday of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays. Awesome.

While this is great, it still doesn’t solve some fundamental problems with the process.

We asked over 100 Nigerians currently living in at least 10 states in Nigeria, all scattered across every region. The problems appear to be the same.

“I don’t even know where to register.”

28.5% of the respondents say they don’t even know where to find registration centres in their area.
This is despite the fact that tools already exist to make this process easier. INEC’s website has features like a PVC locator and a Voter Verification page. GoVote has a locator to help people find registration centres.
We built GetYourPVC.com to help people walk through the entire registration process in 5 minutes.

“Have you seen the queues?”

“I’ve been there like 3 times,” Blessing said, “but every time I reach there at 6am, my number on the list will almost be at no. 200. I got tired and stopped going.”

She’s not alone. Over 48% of the respondents say this is why they haven’t registered. The understaffed INEC centres take the hit, with officials transferring that frustration to people trying to register.
“Someone came out and announced,” Bankole said, “We’re only registering 100 people today.” The crowd was way more.

“They were collecting ₦2000 to register people.”

That’s what Prince said. There have been allegations of INEC officials taking advantage of this overwhelming process, collecting bribes, and giving preferential treatment.

But complaints like these, including the “they said the machines were bad” issues, only account for less than 3% of reasons people gave for not wanting to register.
People we’ve spoken to have generally commended the INEC officials for sticking to their albeit cumbersome process, and refusing bribes.
“In the INEC office I registered,” Samsideen said, “they were very strict and were sending away people wanting to break the process.”

“What’s the point?”

With almost a third of the people in the survey not believing in the electoral process, this might be an indication of a wider problem.

Allegations of election malpractice from the 2015 general elections has bred mistrust. Reports of misconduct by INEC officials like this one in Taraba isn’t helping (INEC fixed this immediately). According to Taiwo Makanjuola, INEC’s Citizens Contact Center Manager, INEC has had a pretty good record in the past few years. “Since 2015, we’ve conducted elections in 182 constituencies, and only 2 have had issues at the Tribunal.” Apathy is not exactly a Nigerian problem. In the United States, almost half of eligible voters didn’t even show up in the 2016 elections Trump won.

Updated poll numbers

231,556,622 eligible voters 46.9% didn’t vote 25.6% voted for Clinton 25.5% voted for Trump 1.7% voted for Johnson — Josh Nelson (@soxmachine_josh) November 9, 2016 Bringing it back home, of the 67,422,005 registered voters, only 43.65% of them came through to vote in the 2015 elections.
Even worse is the fact that the total votes cast in 2015 was about 10 million less than was cast in 2011. Still, Taiwo believes the turnout has been impressive. “Since April 27, 2017, when CVR started, about 11.4 million Nigerians have registered.” The inconveniences people are currently facing, he believes, is a consequence of the last minute rush. What this means, is that INEC didn’t properly prepare for this rush, inevitably cutting a significant amount of people off.

This is just one poll.

The observations on the other hand, are valid; a lot of people won’t be able to vote in February 2019, and it won’t be because they didn’t try.

It’ll be because of the flaws that could have been avoided in a more efficient system.

Have you registered?

If you haven’t, visit getyourpvc.com and in 5 minutes, you’ll have a better understanding of what it is you need to do.
Fu'ad Lawal

Join The Conversation

Bring a friend.

You'll like this

Watch

Now on Zikoko

Recommended Quizzes

November 25, 2019

We already guessed how many people you’ve slept with, and y’all were out here denying the truth. Anyway, we won’t hold that against you. This time, however, we’ve created a quiz that predicts who you’ll sleep with next — so you can either prepare or try (unsuccessfully) to prevent it. So, take and see:

September 1, 2021

August is over, and here are some of our best quizzes from August. Enjoy: 1. QUIZ: Only Ajebutters Can Get 10/21 On This Quiz Some people like to form ajepako when they’re really ajebutter. Are you one of them? Let’s find out. 2. QUIZ: Sorry, If You’re Under 25 There’s No Way You Can Pass […]

November 11, 2019

Everyone has something to say about what kind of person they are. But how well do we truthfully evaluate these things? Not that much, I can assure you. The average person is always lying to themselves to make sure they look good. But you know what and who doesn’t lie? Zikoko quizzes that’s what. Take […]

More from Gist

April 20, 2021

Feel like you’ve run out of interesting places to hangout or visit? We’ve got you. Iba Ajie is a new spot we highly recommend if you are looking to explore places in the Eastern part of Nigeria. If you’re wondering what makes this spot special, here are 5 reasons. 1. There is a Chophouse Yes, […]

August 11, 2020

Remember the Nigerian boy who was seen doing ballet pirouettes barefoot and in the rain, in that viral video? Well, he’s been offered a scholarship by the prestigious American Ballet Theater. With the help of American actresses Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo, the video garnered 15 million views, ultimately leading to Anthony Madu being offered […]

December 19, 2019

Nigeria is a shitty place for those who live here, many seek an escape route. But, amid the insecurities, bad economy, and the uncaring government, some things happened this year that make us feel thankful. Yeah, we know, hard to believe right? Yet we need to end the year on a positive note, so here are some […]

November 18, 2019

Nigerians are yet to come to terms with the fact that cats can be pets but now have to deal with the fact that someone thinks a lion is tame enough to have as a security guard. Reports now confirm that a two-year-old lion was discovered in a residential building in the Victoria Island area […]

November 4, 2019

The 8th edition of the popular beach soccer tournament, Copa Lagos held throughout the weekend at Eko Atlantic, VI. It had us loving the opportunity to immerse ourselves in enjoyment. You should know by now that we can’t pass up a chance to get the ultimate weekend experience. And you know the fun part? We […]

October 21, 2019

In case you went under the rock this weekend then you MISSED. There was a lot of excitement for our Nigerian superstar musicians and the spotlight was on them, big time. From the much anticipated Headies award, to the birth of Davido’s son, Naira Marley’s legwork and his subtle shade at the organizers of the […]

Watch

Trending Videos

Zikoko Originals

December 14, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
November 2, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
October 26, 2020
A collection of videos documenting some of the events of the EndSARS protests.
June 22, 2020
'The Couch' is a Zikoko series featuring real life stories from anonymous people.
June 22, 2020
Hacked is an interesting new series by Zikoko made up of fictional but hilarious chat conversations.
June 4, 2020
What happens when a group of chatty young Nigerians talk about things they're passionate about? You get Nigerians talk. A show that discusses very familiar struggles for the average Nigerian. From relationship deal breakers to sex education with Nigerian parents to leaving Nigeria, be prepared for a ride.
June 2, 2020
Quickie is a video series where everyone featured gets only one minute to rant, review or do absolutely anything.
May 14, 2020
Isolation Diary is a Zikoko series that showcases what isolation is like for one young Nigerian working from home due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
March 12, 2020
Life is already hard. Deciding where to eat and get the best lifestyle experiences, isn't something you should stress about. Let VRSUS do that for you.

Z! Stacks

Here's a rabbit hole of stories to lose yourself in:

Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.
X