Voters Registration: INEC records 1.9m online preregistrations but only 6.5% have completed the process

Online voters registration in Ghana

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has revealed that about 1.9 million Nigerians have preregistered online for the Continuous Voters Registration which began on the 28th of June, 2021. This represents 78.5% of the total 2,449,648 applications received so far.

According to the electoral body, Osun state is leading the online charge with 346,819 registrants. It is followed by Edo state with 179,422, Bayelsa with 160,793 and Delta with 117,400. Lagos and Abuja weren’t mentioned.

The data revealed, however, shows that only very few of that number have completed the process at an INEC accredited registration centre. According to the electoral overseer, only 126,936 of only 315,791 people who have completed the process started with online registration. 188,855 applicants started and completed the process with physical registration.

Voters Registration: INEC records 1.9m online applications but only 6.5% have completed the process
Many online applicants are wary about the tediousness of visiting INEC offices

This shows that most Nigerians who registered online (93.5 million) have failed to complete the process. Possible reasons for this could be the tedious nature of physical registrations, lack of time to invest in the process, and the paucity of registration centres which makes them difficult to locate.

65% youth participation

The youths seem to be the most eager of the lot as 1,592,178 (65%) of the 2,449,648 Nigerians that have applied for the Continous Voters Registration (CVR) are youths between the ages of 18 -34. This makes them the highest demography represented in the registration.

Being also the most digital savvy of the population, it is possible that most of them are yet to complete the process.

The number of youths represents more than 50% increase since August 3 when a civic tech organisation, Budgit, reported that only about 1 million youths have registered for the CVR.

INEC also revealed that 585,802 of the applicants are middle aged between 35 and 49 years, 238,606 are elderly between the ages of 50 and 69 and 33,062 were old persons aged 70 and above.

A woman casts her votes during the gubernatorial and state house assembly elections at a polling center in Makoko near Lagos, Nigeria, Saturday, March. 9, 2019. Nigerians are going to the polls to choose governors in 29 of 36 states in Africa’s largest democracy amid reports of heavy military deployment and attacks against electoral facilities in a few areas. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Women are quickly becoming as political as men if the report revealed by INEC is anything to go by. Of the 2,449,648 applications received so far, 1,370,469 (56%) were male while 1,079,179 (44%) were female. 28,789 applicants were people with disabilities.

The gender difference was roughly the same for the 315,791 persons that have completed the registration process. 176,379 (55.8%) of them were male while 139,412 (45.2%) were female. 3,554 of the total figure were persons living with disabilities.

In conclusion

Youths appear to be waking up to their civic responsibility of registering to vote. As of July 28, exactly a month after the commencement of the exercise, only 774,000 youths have applied. Less than 3 weeks later, the number seems to have doubled. This could be attributed to online gingles by civic organisations like EiE and Budgit calling them to action.

But also being the most digital-savvy group in the population, it is also possible that most of them are yet to complete the registration process and be positioned for a PVC. Perhaps more effort should be geared by civic organisations in that regard.

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