More than 90 million Nigerians in 176,846 polling units across Nigeria’s 774 local government areas are registered to vote in the 2023 general elections.
To pull off a project of that scale, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs more people than it has on its payroll. The agency routinely recruits ad-hoc staff for elections and this gives eligible members of the public an opportunity to be part of the process.
On Wednesday, September 14th, 2022, INEC launched an online portal for the registration of ad-hoc staff for the 2023 elections. Here’s everything you need to know about it if you’re interested.
First, what are the ground rules?
INEC requires that applicants for the vacant roles are clear on three things before they apply:
1. They must not be a member of a political party.
This really goes without saying, to be honest.
2. They must not have expressed online support for any candidate or party.
So, if your social media profile picture is one with your favourite candidate, you may want to change it or don’t bother applying.
3. They must reside in the state they select for the application.
There’ll be no remote work, and deployment is done based on the selected state of residence.
Okay, so what are the available roles?
INEC has five roles open for members of the public to apply for:
1. Supervisory presiding officer (SPO)
2. Registration area centre (RAC) manager
3. Presiding officer (PO)
4. Assistant presiding officer (APO)
5. Registration area technical support (RATECH)
The bar of eligibility for these roles varies, but the roles of presiding officer (PO) and assistant presiding officer (APO) are the most common for young Nigerians.
What makes you eligible to be a PO or APO?
You can apply for these roles if you’re:
- A current member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC)
- A former NYSC member who served between 2018 and 2022
- A penultimate year student of any federal or state tertiary institution
- A staff of government ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs)
What do POs and APOs even do?
A polling unit is typically supervised by a PO who’s supported by four APOs on election day.
The PO coordinates all election day activities including sorting, counting and announcement of votes at the polling unit. The four APOs are assigned different tasks ranging from registering and inking voters, verification, statistics and queue control.
What do I need to apply?
There are 10 important boxes you need to tick before you even think about starting the registration process:
Cool. I have everything. What’s next?
You can head over to INEC’s online portal to start the registration process.
Is there a deadline?
The registration portal will shut down at 8 pm on December 14th, 2022.