Table Of Contents
1. Meaning Of Election
2. Meaning Of Voter
3. Meaning Of Voting
4. Types Of Elections
5. Differences Between Direct And Indirect Election
6. Basic Qualitifications For Election
7. Responsibilities Of a Voter
8. Voting Procedure
9. Importance Of Elections.
Meaning Of Election
Election is an ecercise to choose a person or group of persons, for a postion, expecially a political positon, by voting. For the purpoes of this topic, election is an exercise to choose or select candidates to represent the people as, councillor, chairman of local government, Governor of a state, Member of the legislature, or president of the country.
The process of election is determined by vote. In nigeria, elections into political positions are contested on political party platforms. Examples of major parties in Nigria are the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) the All Nigeria People Parties(ANPP), the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and the All Progessives Grand Alliance (APGA).
Eletions have become necessary suince it is longer fashionable to practice the direct democracy of the old Greak City States. The way out is to choose individuals or groups of persons who represented in the affairs of the country. Elections when freely and fairly contested express the eill of the citizens.
Therefore, election promoted democracy because it affords the people opportunity to decide who rules them or who represents them in government.
Meaning Of Voter
A voter is any person who is qualified to vote in an election. Not all adults are qualified to vote. A country’s electoral law defines who qualifie to vote in public elections. The right to vote in public election is know as franchiese. Modern states adopt the principle of Universal Adult Suffrage, which is the right of all adults to vote.
However, this right is not extended
i. To minors( under ged persons)
ii. To certified or know lunatics( mental persons) and
iii. To persons convicted of corrupt practices or treason or felony.
The right to vote carries with it an obligation ( duty) to vote during an election. This obligation is legally enforced in some countries. This implies that all eligible citizensa have a duty to vote in elctions. It is a civic and patriotic duty of citizens a say in who rules them and how the state, local government or the nation is governed.
Electorate is a term which refers to the whole people who are eligible or qualified to vote in an election in a given territory
Meaning Of Voting
Voting is the act of casting ballot in an election to decide who wins. It is the real act of choosing a candidate of choice. Voting can be done through raise of hands, it can be through casting of ballot; it can be by filimg behind a preferred candidate or his portrait. Whichever way it is done, the choice of the voter is what counts and determines the out come of an election.
Types Of Elections
There are two types of elections;
i. Direct Election: In direct election, all the eligible voters in an election turn out at the polling stations and cast their votes for the candidates of their choice.
ii. Indirect Elections: In this type, the eligible voters first elect representatives who act as delegates. The delegates now constitute an electoral college which now elects leaders to represent the people in government. This type is the delegate type of election.
Differences Between Direct And Indirect Election
1. In direct election, the whole electorate vote for candidates of choice. In indirect election, few persons emerge as delegates to act on behalf of the electorate.
2. Direct election is more democratic than indirect election because the choice of the people is more realised in direct election
3. The voters are opportune to know who they are voting for in direct election than in indirect election.
4. Voters are more involved in direct elections that in indirect elections.
5. Direct election reduces the chance of corruption and manipulation than indirect elections. It is easier to bribe a few delegates that the whole voters.
6. Rigging is more likely in direct election than in indirect election.
7. Thuggery and electoral violence are more likely in direct elections than in the indirect type.
8. It is more expensive to conduct direct election than it is in indirect election.
9. Voters accord more respect to leaders elected in direct elections than those in indirect elections.
Basic Qualifications For Election
The electoral law of a country determines the qualification which a person must fulfill to be eligible to vote or to be voted for in an election. In Nigeria the qualifications are:
1. Age: A citizen must be 18 years or above to qualify to vote
2. Citizenship: A person must be a citizen of Nigeria to qualify to vote or to be voted for.
3. Residence: The law prescribes a minimum duration of six months a person must have lived in a place to qualify to vote. This requirement ids not adhered to in practices.
4. Payment Of Tax: This requirement applies more to persons seeking elections. Such persons are required to show evidence of current tax payment for three year.
5. Criminal Record: Person indicated for criminality such as corrupt practices, treasonable offences, armed robbery are not eligible to contest election.
6. Insanity: persons with record of insanity, mental disorder or madness are not eligible to vote or to be voted for.
7. Registration: only registered persons who possess voters card are eligible to vote or to be voted for.
1. A voter must possess a voters card which he/she must present at the polling station.
2. He/she must be aware of the electoral matters like date of elections, nature of election, venue of election and time, method of casting vote, such as thumb printing, secret ballot, etc.
3. The voter should vote only once.
4. He/she should adhere strictly to all instructions of the electoral officials.
5. He/she should ensure that his/her vote is not wasted by thumb printing correctly.
6. He/she should ensure his/her vote is counted along with others. Voters should protect their votes by being vigilant to prevent acts to manipulate election results.
7. Voters must avoid thuggery or lawless acts during election.
i. The voter arrives in time at the polling centre
ii. The voter goes through accreditation and waits for the commencement of voting.
iii. The voter takes his/her turn to vote after collecting the ballot paper.
iv. The voter keeps off the revenue after casting vote. However, party agents of candidates remain to ensure that ballots cast by voters are safe and counted at the end of voting.
Importance Of Elections
Elections are important for many reason:
1: Choice Of Leaders: Elections provide opportunities for the citizens to determine who should rule them or represent their interest in government. Elections express the will of the people when properly conducted
2. Promote Democracy: Elections promote democracy, by giving citizens opportunity to exercise their votes and participate in government.
3. Good Governance: Elections promote good governance because elected leaders try to perform well in order to be re-elected at the end of their tenure.
4. Confer Legitimacy: Elections make legitimate ( or lawful) the authority of elected leaders and representatives. Citizens show respect and accept the authority of those they elected than those imposed on the people.
5. Check On Bad Leaders: Elections provide a check on bad leadership because they can voted out of power, for poor performance.
6. Test Of Popularity: Elections offer a barometer to test the popularity of leaders.
7. Change Of Governament: Elections after a peaceful or smooth outlet for change of governme
nt through constitutional and non violent means.
8. Elections provide opportunity for good or credible people to be chosen to represent or rule the people.