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Over 930,000 Batswana register for general election

TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
About 930,933 eligible Batswana have registered to vote in the coming polls compared to 825,582 in the 2014 October elections.

There is slight increase of the number of youth registered to vote compared to 2014. This year 279,000 youth have registered to vote while 219,534 had registered in 2014.

“We have not disaggregated the supplementary figures for young people. The number for registered voters is better than the 2014 numbers. There is not going to be any supplementary registration. Inspection general voter registration is on and it will close on May 20 (2019),” Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) spokesperson, Osupile Maroba said.

“The inspection of voter registration took 42 days. Purpose of inspection is to correct errors or wrong names and wrong polling stations. This will be followed by inspection of supplementary registration voters’ rolls, which take 21 days.”

The number of those who voted could not be ascertained. Even though 825,582 had registered to vote, only 698,409 had voted and therefore the number might go down during voting time. Political analyst Lesole

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Machacha said, “It is still worrying that some Batswana are not registered to vote. One principle of democracy in our country is through casting voting. When we look at our country, 55% had registered to vote, but the number might go down during the elections, which means our system does not reflect interest of Batswana looking at the votes”.Machacha said the more people vote the more their interests are reflected.

He continued: “There is nothing that could be done because our Constitution gives the people the right to vote or not. But people who are eligible to vote and do not exercise that right should not complain of unemployment, roads amongst other things.”Machacha said maybe the government should make a law that forces people to vote if one is eligible to exercise that right.

The Commission had targeted for 1,592,350 eligible voters to register for the 2019 general election.



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