2023 Elections: 43% of voters are first-time voters

43% of Nigerians eligible to vote in the 2023 general elections would be first-time voters.

This was disclosed in a report by socioeconomic research firm, SBM Intelligence, on Monday titled ‘2023 Elections: Voter Turnout Will Rise’.

The report also noted that 24% of respondents encountered violence while trying to get their Personal Voter Cards (PVCs), even as only 30% were able to get their PVCs the first time they tried

First-time voters: The report stated that 6,588 respondents were surveyed mid-way into INEC’s PVC collection timetable. The survey aimed to find out how Nigerians who completed the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) process were faring with regard to PVC collection.

  • “The survey’s findings showed that 97% of respondents desire to vote. Of this figure, 94% completed the CVR process (physical capture); 90% tried to pick up their PVCs and 79% successfully picked up their PVCs. 
  • “This data suggests that more Nigerians are willing to vote in 2023. Crucially, a very significant 43% are first-time voters, mostly young people”.

Locations and Violence: They added that 24% of respondents experienced violence trying to pick up their PVCs as Cross River, Imo and Anambra had the highest number of first-time registrants.

  • “In trying to pick up their PVCs, 24% of respondents encountered violence and only 30% were able to get their PVCs the first time they tried. 
  • “Regarding location, there are more first-time voters in the more urbanised locations like Abuja, Kaduna and Anambra, except in Lagos where the trend is reversed. 
  • “Also, 42% of respondents were transferring their PVCs, with Lagos and Oyo leading. This indicates success on INEC’s part as regards streamlining the process. Meanwhile, Cross River, Imo and Anambra had the highest number of people registering for PVCs for the first time.”

Hard time for Young voters: The report acknowledged that the older the respondents were more successful PVC pick-up attempts they had, however altogether recorded a 79% successful collection rate

  • “Over 30% of the respondents in Ogun, Abuja, Bauchi and Cross River could not pick up their PVCs when they tried, while Rivers and Kaduna had above 20%. These locations require urgent attention from INEC and Civil Society Advocacy groups.”

They noted a study that showed a trend that the older the respondents, the more successful PVC pick-up attempts they had and urged INEC needs to be engaged to ascertain why younger applicants are finding it harder to pick up their PVCs despite trying.

  • “In conclusion, a 79% successful collection rate in this survey is a marked improvement on the 41% recorded in the first survey done in July 2022.”

What you should know: Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced that the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) at registration areas/wards commenced last week Friday, the 6th of January, 2023. INEC said:

  • “After the 15th of January 2023, the exercise will revert to the Local Government Offices of the Commission until the 22nd of January, 2023.
  • “All eligible and valid registrants can collect their PVCs from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm daily, including Saturdays and Sundays.”

 

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