Voter Accreditation

In 2011 Nigeria adopted a new and unique approach to prevent double voting. While popular, implementation of the new procedures was not universal nor without its own challenges.

The Nigerian System of Voting is Unique

For the 2011 elections, INEC adopted a voting system based on the 1999 elections and recommended by civic groups. Previously, an individual would be accredited (i.e. his/her eligibility to vote would be verified) and he/she would immediately vote and immediately go home to await announcement of results. Under the new system, all potential voters would first be accredited as a group; then all accredited individuals would vote as a group; and finally everyone who had voted would be invited to remain at the polling unit to witness counting and the announcement of results.

2007 Nigerian Individual Accreditation Process
2011 Nigerian Group Accreditation Process

The intention was to ensure all voters would spend the entire day at their assigned polling unit. This would prevent people going to multiple polling units and voting more than once, thereby reducing the threat of illegal voting. As voters were invited to remain and watch counting the new procedures would also enhance public confidence in the accuracy of the results as announced at polling units.

Implementation for the 2011 Presidential Election

At 29%

At 29% of polling units most or all people left after being accredited raising the possibility that they went to another polling unit and were accredited again.

Explore more data on people leaving during accreditation
At 16%

At 16% of polling units people were accredited to vote after accreditation had closed.

Explore more data on accreditation during voting

Implementation of New Voting Procedures by State


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National Average for Accreditation During the Voting Process: 8%.
National Average for Accredited Voters Leaving Polling Units: 29%

Impact of New Voting System

At 8%

At 8% of polling units the number of accredited voters increased by more than 5% from during voting.

Number of Accredited Voters Increasing by More than 5% during Voting by Zone, State and LGA

Number of Accredited Voters Increasing by More than 5% during Voting by Zone, State and LGA
  • 0-5%
  • 6-10%
  • 11-15%
  • 16-20%
  • 21-100%
  • No Data
Explore more data on accreditation during voting Learn more about the conduct of the election in Nigeria’s zones and states

2013 Anambra Gubernatorial Election

At 31%

At 31% of polling units PVT Observers reported the number of accredited voters was larger than the number of voters by 10% or more.

At 28%

At 28% of polling units 50 or more people were accredited during voting.

According to INEC's official statistics, 451,826 voters were accredited, but only 429,549 ballots were cast. At least 22,277 (5.2%) of voters did not wait to vote after being accredited.

Explore Critical Issues from the 2011 Presidential Elections