How to correctly mark the ballot paper

An IEBC sample of correctly marked ballot papers./COURTESY

The August 9th General Elections is less than a week away.

With many people being first time voters, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has provided a sample of a correctly marked ballot papers to prevent votes being spoilt.

In the 2013 general elections, the number of spoilt votes were 108,975 while in the 2017 general elections, the number increased to 411,510.

To prevent cases of spoilt or invalid votes, the voter should ensure that the ballot paper is marked correctly using a tick or an ‘X’ big enough to be seen but within the provided box.

The symbol you use to mark the ballot paper should be put against the name and symbol of your preferred candidate.

Do NOT mark against other candidates except the one you are voting for.

An IEBC sample of correctly marked ballot papers, with the different colors./COURTESY

The voting process

All polling stations will be opened at 6am and closed at 5pm. If one is already at the polling station during the time of closure you will be allowed to vote.

What you will need to access the polling station is your National Identity Card (ID) or Passport (whichever one you used when registering as a voter).

It is mandatory to carry your ID or Passport.

First step is voter identification and verification.

IEBC will use fingerprints to identify the voter.

“If fingerprint identification is not possible, then the ID or passport (what the voter used while registering) will be used to identify voter in the KIEMS kit,” said IEBC.

After verification, the voter will be issued with six stamped ballot papers by an IEBC official ie; white ballot paper for the Presidential ballot, green for member of parliament, yellow for Senator, Beige for County Assembly ward, Purple for the Women Representative and Blue for Governor.

After getting the ballot papers comes the third step which is marking the papers.

Move to the voting booth and go through the papers, when you identify your preferred candidate put the ‘tick’ or ‘X’ mark against their names in the provided box.

Ensure to only put the mark against your preferred candidate, not any other. Also ensure the symbol is inside the provided box.

After marking the ballot papers, fold them in half to conceal your vote then proceed to drop them into the ballot box.

Drop each ballot paper in the box assigned to the paper. The ballot papers will have a similar color to the lid of the boxes assigned to them i.e. blue for governor, white for president, purple for women rep etc.

If you are not sure of where to drop the ballot papers, seek assistance from an IEBC staff.

“One can get assistance from IEBC staff during the exercise as long as the presiding officer and party agents are observing/ witnessing,” said IEBC.

After dropping the papers in the correct boxes, proceed to the exit where an IEBC clerk will place a mark on the small finger on the left hand or between the index and middle finger in case one has nail polish.

The mark identifies those who have already voted and also prevent people from voting more than once.

After all that process, leave the polling station and proceed to your house or work area.

Continue with your day to day activities as you wait for the exercise to end and the results be announced by IEBC.