Section 51-77 of the Electoral Act 2010
Section 25 to 77 of the Electoral Act 2010 is under PART IV (PROCEDURE AT ELECTION) of the Act.
Section 51 of the Electoral Act 2010
Separate queues for men and women
The Presiding Officer shall separate the queue
between men and women if in that area of the country
the culture is such that it does not permit the mingling
of men and women in the same queue.
Section 52 of the Electoral Act 2010
Conduct of poll by open secret ballot
(1) Voting at an election under this Act shall be by
open secret ballot.
(2) The use of electronic voting machine for the time
being is prohibited.
(3) A voter on receiving a ballot paper shall mark it in the
manner prescribed by the Commission.
(4) All ballots at an election under this Act at any polling
station shall be deposited in the ballot box in the open
view of the public.
Section 53 of the Electoral Act 2010
(1) No voter shall vote for more than one candidate
or record more than one vote in favour of any
candidate at anyone election.
(2) Where the votes cast at an election in any polling unit
exceed the number of registered voters in that polling
unit, the result of the election for that polling unit shall
be declared void by the Commission and another
election may be conducted at a date to be fixed by the
Commission where the result at that polling unit may
affect the overall result in the Constituency.
(3) Where an election is nullified in accordance with
subsection (2) of this section, there shall be no return
for the election until another poll has taken place in
the affected area.
(4) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsections (2) and
(3) of this section the Commission may, if satisfied
that the result of the election will not substantially be
affected by voting in the area where the election is
cancelled, direct that a return of the election be made.
Section 54 of the Electoral Act 2010
Ballot not to be marked by voter for identification
(1) Where a voter makes any writing or mark on a
ballot paper by which he may be identified, such ballot
paper shall be rejected provided that any print
resulting from the staining of the thumb of the voter
in the voting compartment shall not be deemed to be
a mark of identification under this section.
(2) The Commission shall use indelible ink for any thumb
mark by voters on ballot papers.
Section 55 of the Electoral Act 2010
Accidental destruction or marking of ballot papers
A voter who by accident deals with his ballot paper in
such a manner that it may not be conveniently used
for voting, may deliver it to the Presiding Officer and
if the Presiding Officer is satisfied that the ballot paper
is spoilt he shall issue another ballot paper to the voter
in place of the ballot paper delivered up, and the spoilt
ballot paper shall be immediately marked cancelled by
the Presiding Officer.
Section 56 of the Electoral Act 2010
Blind and incapacitated voters
(1) A voter who is blind or is otherwise unable to
distinguish symbols or who suffers from any other
physical disability may be accompanied into the
polling unit by a person chosen by him and that person
shall, after informing the Presiding Officer of the
disability, be permitted to accompany
the voter into the voting compartment and assist the
voter to make his mark in accordance with the
procedure prescribed by the Commission.
(2) The Commission may take reasonable steps to ensure
that voters with disabilities are assisted at the polling
place by the provision of suitable means of
communication, such as Braille, Large embossed print
or electronic devices or sign language interpretation,
or off-site voting in appropriate cases.
Section 57 of the Electoral Act 2010
No voter shall record his vote otherwise than by
personally attending at the
Polling unit and recording his vote in the manner
prescribed by the Commission.
Section 58 of the Electoral Act 2010
Voting at appropriate polling unit
No person shall be permitted to vote at any polling
unit other than the one to which he is allotted.
Section 59 of the Electoral Act 2010
Impersonation by applicant for ballot paper
(1) If at the time a person applies for a ballot paper
and before he has left the polling unit, a polling agent,
polling unit official or security agent informs the
Presiding Officer that he has reasonable cause to
believe that the person is under the age of 18 years
or has committed the offence of impersonation and
gives an undertaking on a prescribed form to
substantiate the charge in a court of law, the Presiding
Officer may order a police officer to arrest that person
and the Presiding Officer’s order shall be sufficient
authority for the police officer so to act.
(2) A person in respect of whom a polling agent, polling
official or security agent gives an information in
accordance with the provision of subsection (1) of this
section shall not, by reason of the information, be
prevented from voting, but the Presiding Officer shall
cause the words “protested against for impersonation”
to be placed against his name in the marked copy of
the register of voters or part of the register of voters.
(3) Where a person in respect of whom a declaration is
made under subsection (2) of this section, admits to
the Presiding Officer that he is not the person he held
himself out to be, he shall not be permitted to vote
and shall be handed over to the Police.
(4) A person arrested under the provisions of this section
shall be deemed to be a person taken into custody by
a police officer.
Section 60 of the Electoral Act 2010
Tendered ballot paper
(1) If a person claiming to be entitled to vote applies
for a ballot paper after another person has voted in
the name given by the claimant he shall,
upon satisfactory answers given to any question put
to him by a poll clerk, be entitled to receive a ballot
paper in the same manner as any other voter, but the
ballot paper (in this Act referred to as “the tendered
ballot paper”) shall be of a colour different from the
ordinary ballot papers.
(2) The Presiding Officer shall require the voter to deliver
the tendered ballot paper to him instead of allowing it
to be put in the ballot box and the Presiding Officer
shall endorse on it the name of the voter and his
number in the register of voters.
(3) The ballot paper shall, on delivery to the Presiding
Officer and in the view of all present, be set aside by
the Presiding Officer in a packet intended for tendered
votes and the tendered ballot paper shall be counted
by the Returning Officer.
(4) The Presiding Officer shall, when he tenders a ballot
paper under this section, enter the name of the voter
and his number in the register of voters on the list to
be called tendered vote list and the tendered vote list
shall be produced in any legal proceedings arising out
of the election.
Section 61 of the Electoral Act 2010
Conduct at polling units.
(1) The Presiding Officer shall regulate the admission
of voters to the polling unit and shall exclude all
persons other than the candidates, polling agents, poll
clerks and persons lawfully entitled to be admitted
including accredited observers, and the Presiding
Officer shall keep order and comply with the
requirements of this Act at the polling unit.
(2) The Presiding Officer may order a person to be
removed from a polling unit, who behaves in a
disorderly manner or fails to obey a lawful order.
(3) A person removed from a polling unit under this
section shall not, without the permission of the
Presiding Officer, again enter the polling unit during
the day of the election, and if charged with the
commission of an offence in that polling unit, the
person shall be deemed to be a person taken into
custody by a police officer for an offence in respect of
which he may be arrested without a warrant
(4) The provisions of subsection (3) of this section shall
not be enforced so as to prevent a voter who is
otherwise entitled to vote at a polling unit from having
an opportunity of so voting.
(5) In the absence of the presiding officer, the Poll Clerk
shall enjoy and exercise all the powers of the Presiding
Officer in respect of a polling unit.
Section 62 of the Electoral Act 2010
Closing of poll
(1) At the prescribed hour for the close of poll, the
Presiding Officer shall declare the poll closed and no
person shall be admitted into the polling unit and only
those already inside the Polling unit shall be allowed
(2) After the declaration of the close of polls, no voter
already inside the polling unit shall be permitted to
remain in the polling unit unless otherwise authorized
under this Act.
Section 63 of the Electoral Act 2010
Counting of votes and forms
(1) The Presiding Officer shall, after counting the votes
at the polling unit, enter the votes scored by each
candidate in a form to be prescribed by the
Commission as the case may be.
(2) The form shall be signed and stamped by the Presiding
Officer and counter signed by the candidates or their
polling agents where available at the polling unit.
(3) The Presiding Officer shall give to the Polling Agents
and the police officer where available a copy each of
the completed forms after it has been duly signed as
provided in subsection (2) of this section.
(4) The Presiding Officer shall count and announce the
result at the polling unit.
Section 64 of the Electoral Act 2010
A candidate or polling agent may, where present at a
polling unit when counting of votes is completed by
the Presiding Officer, demand to have the votes
recounted provided that the presiding Officer shall
cause the votes to be so recounted only once.
Section 65 of the Electoral Act 2010
Post-election procedure and collation of election results
After the recording of the result of the election, the
Presiding Officer shall announce the result and deliver
same and election materials under security to such
persons as may be prescribed by the Commission.
Section 66 of the Electoral Act 2010
Rejection of ballot paper without official mark
(1) Subject to subsection (2) of this section, a ballot
paper which does not bear the official mark shall not
(2) If the Returning Officer is satisfied that a ballot paper
which does not bear the official mark was from a book
of ballot papers which was furnished to the Presiding
Officer of the polling unit in which the vote was cast
for use at the election in question, he shall,
notwithstanding the absence of the official mark,
count that ballot paper.
Section 67 of the Electoral Act 2010
Endorsement on rejected ballot paper without official mark
(1) The Presiding Officer shall endorse the word
“rejected” on the ballot paper rejected under section
54(1) of this Act and for any other reason and the
ballot papers shall not be counted except otherwise
allowed by the ‘Returning Officer who may overrule
the Presiding Officer.
(2) If an objection to the decision of a Presiding Officer to
reject a ballot paper is raised by a candidate or a
polling agent at the time the decision is made, the
Presiding Officer shall add to the word “rejected”, the
phrase “but objected toll.
(3) The Presiding Officer shall prepare a statement on
rejected ballot papers, stating the number rejected,
the reason for rejection and their serial number, he
shall, on request, allow a candidate or a polling agent
to copy the statement.
Section 68 of the Electoral Act 2010
Decision of Returning Officer on ballot paper
(1) The decision of the Returning Officer on any
question arising from or relating to –
(a) unmarked ballot paper;
(b) rejected ballot paper; and
(c) declaration of scores of candidates and the return of
a candidate, shall be final subject to review by a
Tribunal or Court in an election petition proceedings
under this Act.
Section 69 of the Electoral Act 2010
Declaration of result
In an election to the office of the President or
Governor, whether or not contested and in any
contested election to any other elective office, the
result shall be ascertained by counting the votes cast
for each candidate and subject to the provisions of
sections 133, 134 and 179 of the Constitution, the
candidate that receives the highest number of votes
shall be declared elected by the appropriate Returning
Section 70 of the Electoral Act 2010
Equality of votes
Where two or more candidates poll equal number of
votes being the highest in an election, the Returning
Officer shall not return any of the candidates and a
fresh election shall be held for the candidates on a
date to be appointed by the Commission.
Section 71 of the Electoral Act 2010
Posting of results
The Commission shall cause to be posted on its notice
board and website a notice showing the candidates at
the election and their scores; and the person declared
as elected or returned at the election.
Section 72 of the Electoral Act 2010
Custody of documents
The Chief Electoral Commissioner or any officer
authorized by him shall keep official custody of all the
documents, including statement of results and ballot
papers relating to the election, which are returned to
the Commission by the Returning Officers.
Section 73 of the Electoral Act 2010
Step-by-step recording of poll
Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Commission
shall issue and publish, in the Gazette, guidelines for
the elections which shall make provisions, among
other things, for the step by step recording of the poll
in the electoral forms as may be prescribed beginning
from the polling unit to the last collation centre for the
ward or constituency where the result of the election
shall be declared.
Section 74 of the Electoral Act 2010
Result forms to be signed and countersigned
Every Result Form completed at the Ward, Local
Government, State and National levels in accordance
with the provision of this Act or any guidelines issued
by the Commission shall be stamped, signed and
countersigned by the relevant officers and polling
agents at those levels and copies given to the police
officers and the polling agents, where available.
Section 75 of the Electoral Act 2010
Certificate of return
(1) A sealed Certificate of Return at an election in a
prescribed form shall be issued within 7 days to every
candidate who has won an election under this Act-
Provided that where the Court of Appeal or the
Supreme Court being the final appellate court in any
election petition as the case may be nullifies the
Certificate of Return of any candidate, the
Commission shall, within 48 hours after the receipt of
the order of such Court, issue the successful candidate
with a valid Certificate of Return.
(2) Where the Commission refuses or neglects to issue a
Certificate of Return, a certified true copy of the order
of a court of competent Jurisdiction shall, ipso facto,
be sufficient for the purpose of swearing-in a
candidate declared as the winner by that Court.
Section 76 of the Electoral Act 2010
Forms for use at election
The forms to be used for the conduct of elections
under this Act shall be determined by the Commission.
Section 77 of the Electoral Act 2010
Access to election documents
(1) The Resident Electoral Commissioner, in a State
where an election is conducted, shall, within 7 days
after an application is made to him by any
of the parties to an election petition, cause such
documents or the certified true copy thereof, to be
issued to the said party.
(2) Any Resident Electoral Commissioner who willfully fails
to comply with subsection (1) of this section commits
an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum
fine of N2,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not
exceeding 12 months, or both.