TLDR: We recently ran a voters registration drive in Osun State and we are looking to replicate this kind of effort in as many locations as possible. We are however, a very small organisation and do not have enough boots on the ground to do it everywhere. We thought instead, to write a kind of guide and open up partnership to anyone looking to do a similar thing. If you would like to do something like this please fill this form and we’ll be in contact with you to organise it. If you want to donate to these efforts please do so here.
Why is such a drive important?
Over the past three general elections in Nigeria, voter turnout has been on a steady decline. This is from the data released by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), showing a decline from 44% in 2015 to 35% in 2019 with projections of further decline in 2023. This means that of the people that register, only 35% actually come out to vote. We can drive the raw numbers up by
(i) Registering more voters
(ii) Convincing actual registered voters to vote
A voters registration drive addresses point (i) and is quite important as the numbers from the ongoing voters registration are quite saddening.
What will you need?
This is the most important of requirements. A device to register people on, it could be a mobile phone, a tablet, a laptop etc — just something with an internet connection. With this and enough convincing power you can literally stand in a street corner and get people registered to vote. Also, depending on the demographic you target, its also possible to guide people to register on their own devices.
You will likely need additional support in terms of organising people, getting a queue setup, passing out information, charging your device when it dies.
In our experience, we found it very helpful to have some kind of promotional material like a banner and a device to bring attention to yourself in a location where noise is allowed. We had loud speakers in Sabo market for instance. In a smaller situation, you can write with cardboard on paper and that’ll be it.
Since the registration cycle is not complete with just the online registration and the next steps can only be done in person, you will likely need to provide some education on the next steps to take, what polling units to visit etc.
We would really advise you to do this in an area you are familiar with or have some kind of contacts in. It makes the process smoother.
After helping people fill in their details on the inec website, a code is generated for them to take to their polling units. With our app, Sabi, you can search a list of the polling units across the nation (very helpful). You can also give people the option to drop some more information so you can follow up post registration. Be careful to make sure that people enter correct information and their private information such as the password on the portal is not disclosed even to you.
For those who opted into a follow up, you may call to confirm they have visited their polling units or give them further instructions or support if need be.
How can NG Voices help?
- We can provide educational material in multiple languages
- We can help you get a banner and a device to announce with
- We can help source for volunteers
- We can help with post registration follow up
Our previous work
With the Osun and Ekiti elections happening in a few months, we decided to hold our pilot offline engagement in Osun. We began a 10 week sensitization program on the 10th of November, 2022, where we deployed speakers and educational material to Sabo-Ife Market in Osun state. With help from the market leadership and the kegites worldwide association, we used this opportunity to also do our first voters registration drive at this market. We have registered approximately 100 people so far and learnt many lessons along the way.
Other examples of this work
Our country is big and it’s near impossible for one organisation to cover all its corners. Some more inspiration from other people doing this work are @flagboii and @simplyEromz who we have partnered with in some of their efforts.