2019 presidential election has highest voided votes in history

February 28, 2019
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The just-concluded presidential election recorded 1,289,607 rejected votes nationwide, according to the results announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Wednesday.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) analysis of the figure shows that it constitutes 4.5 per cent of the total 28,614,190 votes cast in the election.

NAN observes that the voided votes are more than the total valid ballots cast in each of 34 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

It was only in Kano, Kaduna and Katsina that valid votes exceeded the rejected votes across the country. The three states recorded 1,891,134, 1,663,603 and 1,555,473 valid votes.

The 2019 figure is 445,088 or 52.7 per cent higher than the 844,519 votes declared invalid nationwide in the 2015 presidential election.

Voided votes constituted 2.8 per cent of the total 29,432,083 ballots cast in 2015, representing an increase of 1.7 per cent compared with that of 2019.

Further analyses by NAN revealed that Saturday’s election also recorded more voided votes compared with that of 2011.

In 2011, a total of 1,259,506 votes were rejected, making the latest figure higher by 30,101 votes or 2.3 per cent.

The ratio of rejected to total votes cast is also higher in the 2019 election compared with the 3.1 per cent recorded in 2011, representing an increase of 1.4 per cent.

This trend, according to political analysts, means that Nigerian voters are getting less educated in the balloting system, hence the need for more voter education in the country.

On state basis, Kano recorded the highest voided votes in the 2019 polls, accounting for 73,617 or 5.7 per cent of the national total.

Lagos and Katsina followed with 67,023 and 63,712 or 5.1 and 4.9 per cent of the total.

Ekiti recorded the least rejected votes with 12,577 or 0.9 per cent of the total.

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