From Joseph Obukata, Warri
An online petition demanding the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to include the names and pictures of candidates on ballot papers, has gained traction and is nearing its 25,000 target.
The petition which was hosted on the world largest petition platform, change.org is targeting 25,000 signatures before it becomes a document to be forwarded to policy makers for consideration.
Daily Sun reports that the petition which was started by Otuto Chukwuocha a few days ago has approximately over 23, 800 signatures as of Tuesday evening when our correspondent visited the online platform.
Presenting the petition, Chukwuocha said that including the names and pictures of candidates on the ballot paper is imperative to ensuring voter education as it would make voting easier, especially for those who are not very literate.
He also said that the initiative would also help voters identify their candidate of choice with ease.
From available information, INEC usually prints the logo of political parties on the ballot papers.
However, section 42 (1) of the Electoral Act gives INEC the power to include any other information on the ballot paper as it may require
“The Commission shall prescribe the format of the ballot papers which shall include the symbol adopted by the political party of the candidate and such other information as it may require,” the section reads.
Findings indicate that Ireland and Uganda are among countries that include names and pictures of candidates on ballot papers, while the United States, United Kingdom and most European countries include only the name of candidates on the ballot papers.
The Nigeria’s 2023 presidential election is expected to be a three horse race among the All Progressive Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and the Labour Party candidates, Peter Obi respectively.