We are just two days away from the D-day (Election Day) and everyone is eager to vote for the next person who will lead this country for the next seven years.
About 5.2 million Rwandans are expected to cast their votes in the Monday exercise from 1, 557 polling stations. Following are some of the major things you need to know about the voting process:
On this day, according to the National Electoral Commission (NEC), voting will begin at 6 a.m and end at 3p.m of the same day.
For anyone to participate in elections, they must be Rwandan citizens 18 years and above. But that’s not enough. Only those registered for the exercise will cast their ballots.
You must have a national ID, as well as a voter’s card.
At the polling station
Elections will be held in public places such as schools and other designated places.
Before the elections, NEC officials at every polling station will show voters the ballot box to make sure that the boxes are empty and ensure that all the necessary materials are in place before the exercise kicks off.
Voters will queue up. But the weak and frail such as pregnant women and the elderly will be allowed to skip the queue.
Inside the polling room, the voter has to undergo five steps which include:
• Showing your documents to an electoral official on the first desk who checks if you are on the voters’ list.
• On the second desk, you are given the ballot paper.
• You proceed to the secret voting booth where you vote for your candidate using your thumb.
• After voting, you are supposed to fold the ballot paper before casting it in a nearby ballot box
• You then proceed to the final desk where your card is stamped to show that you have voted and marked with ink on your last finger.
The Don’ts at the polling station
• Don’t go to the polling station putting on campaign clothes or anything that shows any candidate or political party.
• Do not vote more than once.
• Do not vote on behalf of another person.
• Do not vote from any other place apart from the secret booth.
• Do not form groups with an intention to sabotage elections.
Every voter has to vote at the polling station where they registered except for the following people whom NEC says can vote from anywhere due to the nature of their work:
• NEC staff
• Journalists who have press cards
• Local observers.
All these should be written on a separate list and should vote after showing the documents mentioned above.