There have been claims that Nigerians may be able to vote without their permanent voter cards (PVC) since their details are captured in the database of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). This is false, INEC has repeatedly made it known that citizens will not be able to vote without PVCs.
Here is a breakdown of all you need to know about PVCs.
What is the use of PVC?
A permanent voter card (PVC) is the means of identification given to a voter after their registration with the electoral umpire, INCE. The card is to be taken to the polling station for identification. It enables the citizen to exercise their civic right to vote in the General Elections to be held in February and March 2023.
It can also be used for other national and sub-national elections in the future.
What do I need to get my PVC?
You must show the INEC officials your Temporary Voter’s Card or slip to receive your PVC. However, you must first register as a new voter online or in person at one of the INEC offices nearby to receive your temporary card.
Anyone who was not registered at the end of July 2022 will not be able to vote in the 2023 elections. However, they can register for subsequent elections.
Can the BVAS accredit a voter without using PVC?
Yes, the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) is a technological device that accredits voters by using one or all of the following:
- Scanning the voter’s fingerprints/ facial recognition,
- Scanning the barcode/QR code on the PVC/Voter’s register or
- Entering the last six digits of the Voter Identity Number and the last name of the voter by the Assistant Presiding Officer (APO 1).
However, in a situation whereby the voter’s fingerprint /facial recognition cannot be verified using BVAS, the electoral official will scan the barcode on their PVC or use the voter identification number (VIN) and voter’s last name to accredit such voter.
Since BVAS can accredit me, why do I need PVC to vote?
The 2022 Electoral Act, Section 47(1) provides that a person intending to vote in an election shall present himself with his voter’s card to a Presiding Officer for accreditation at the Polling Unit in the constituency in which his name is registered.
As stated earlier, without PVC, accreditation will not be done at all.
Mahmood Yakubu, the INEC chairman, recently reiterated that the commission has consistently maintained the policy of ‘no PVC, no voting.
“Nothing has changed. It is a legal requirement, and doing it will be a violation of the law. I appeal to Nigerians to ignore any suggestion to the contrary,” he said.
The law is clear and the INEC Chairman has given the final verdict that “no PVC, no vote “.
What is the deadline for PVC collection?
To vote in the 2023 general election, you need to get your PVC before the INEC deadline of January 29, 2023.
My PVC is lost or damaged, what do I do?
You apply in person to the Electoral Officer of your LGA/Area Council for a replacement of the lost/damaged voter card. This must be done not later than 30 days before the election.
If you lose your PVC now, you will not be able to vote in the February 25, 2023 elections.
Who can register and get PVC?
- A Nigerian citizen who is 18 years and above, and has never registered before
- A registered voter who has issues with accreditation
- A registered voter who wants to transfer their voting point from one place to another place
- A registered voter that has a damaged card or has lost their voter’s card can apply for a replacement
- A registered voter that wants to correct a piece of information on their card e.g incorrect name, age etc
Steps to follow if your PVC gets lost
- You need to go to any court in Nigeria to swear an affidavit, declaring that you have misplaced your PVC.
- Next is to take the affidavit to the nearest INEC office around you. Then the information you provided earlier in your previous registration will be used to issue another PVC to you.
Steps to follow if your PVC is damaged/broken
- If your PVC is damaged/broken, you should surrender the damaged PVC to the INEC office around you and INEC will provide you with a replacement. This may take some time.
Where do I collect my PVC?
When your PVC is ready, INEC would reach out to you as to where and when to collect your PVC. Also, you can locate your PVC, by visiting PVC Locator.
In more recent developments, INEC has decentralised the collection of PVCs to the ward level. Hence, you can go to your ward to receive your PVC.
I want to change my polling unit, what do I do?
If you have moved from one location since your last registration, you would need to transfer your registration to a new state, new local government, new registration area, and a new polling unit.
Please take the following steps:
Apply to INEC more than 30 days before the election.
Write an application for transfer to the Resident Electoral Commissioner through the Electoral Officer of your LGA/Area Council (your present location where you want to be transferred to).
Your original voter’s card must be attached to the application if it is an Inter-State Transfer; Go to the online address below for a guide on the transfer of registered voters: click here