Special voting is a facility provided by law to allow registered voters who will not be able to present themselves at their polling stations due to the role they play in the elections, to vote on a date before the rest of the electorate vote on the date set for the election.
Special Voting is only allowed for general elections.
QUALIFICATION FOR SPECIAL VOTING
- A person must be a registered voter in the constituency to be able to apply to be part of special voting in the constituency; or
- The person should have transferred his/her vote to the constituency; and
- Must be a security official, accredited media personnel or staff of the EMB;
APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL VOTING:
REGULATION 23, CI 94
A voter may apply to the returning officer of the constituency in which the voter is registered to be entered as a special voter, if as a result of election duties the voter will not be able to be present at the polling station where the voter is registered on election day.
An application under sub regulation (1) shall be set out in Form Four Schedule and shall be:
Made not later than forty – two days to or before the polling day in the constituency of the applicant except in the case of an applicant who is a returning officer, and
Accompanied by a certificate from the applicant’s employer where the applicant is not a returning officer stating that;
(i) the applicant is registered at a polling station in the constituency of the
Returning officer to whom the applicant is made; and
(ii) the applicant’s duties will prevent the applicant from being present on
polling day at the polling station where the applicant registered.
A returning officer who receives an application under sub regulation(2) shall where the applicant is a person whose duties are related to the elections, ascertain from the applicant;
(a)Where the applicant will be working on election day;
(b)If the applicant will be working in the same constituency where the
applicant is registered but at polling stations other where the applicant is
registered or in a different constituency.
The returning officer shall
Issue the applicant, a certificate that entitles the applicant to vote on a day set for special voters;
enter the registration details of the applicant on the special voters list;
enter the registration details of the applicant on the absent voters list of the polling station where the applicant is registered; and
Inform the applicant, political parties, and other persons of the date and time set aside for special voting.
Where an applicant is made to a returning officer under sub regulation(1) and the applicant is a person other than an election officer, the returning officer shall
enter the name and other registration details of the applicant on the special voters list for the constituency;
enter the name and other registration details of the applicant on the absent voters list of the polling station in which the applicant is registered; and
inform the applicant, political parties and other persons of the date and time set for special voting.
The returning officer shall give a copy of the special voters list to all political parties upon request.
A person whose name is entered on the special voters list shall vote at a polling station specified by the commission and on a day not more than seven days before the polling day appointed by the returning officer and advertised in the manner that Commission may direct.
A person whose name is transferred on the special voters’ list shall not vote on election day.
A person shall not vote at a polling station as a special voter unless that person’s name is the special voters list for that polling station.
Subject to sub regulation (11) voting at a polling station for special voters shall be conducted in the same manner as voting on polling day.
The returning officer shall at the end of the special voting
Ensure that the ballot boxes are kept in a safe custody after the polls has closed;
Ensure that the ballot boxes are sealed with the seal of the Commission and any candidate who wish to add their seal; and
Arrange for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of the votes cast on the polling day and the ballot papers shall be counted in the same manner as those counted in the ballot boxes used on the polling day.
SPECIAL VOTING AND DLE
Special voting is not ALLOWED in District Level Elections for the following reasons;
- the large numbers of the elections involved makes it impracticable to do so (6156 UCEs and 6156 DAEs)
- Logistic constraints. This may take over 12,000 ballot boxes out of the stock for special voting.
- Cost-benefit analysis shows that there will be no value for money. Allowances for election officials who will be deployed at the special voting centres could be as high as 50% of the total allowances payable for the main elections
- Transportation component of the cost of running the election will also increase
- Number of election officials and security personnel in an electoral area may be so small that it does not make sense to have special voting for them
- Again, more than 12,000 booklets of ballot papers may have to be used before the main election leaving a huge number of unused ballot papers at the special voting.
A cost-benefit analysis shows that it is not worthwhile to have special voting at DLEs.