Following the official declaration of Dapo Abiodun, the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the Ogun state governorship election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), some have come up with the claim that the election should have been declared inconclusive.
Claim 1: INEC should have declared the election inconclusive because margin of win is smaller than rejected votes
As seen in the tweet above, the claim that the Ogun state governorship election should have been declared inconclusive is based on the fact that the margin of winning is 19,517 while the rejected vote is 20,567.
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What makes INEC declare elections inconclusive?
INEC declares an election inconclusive in a situation where the total number of registered voters in units where the results are CANCELLED or where the elections are postponed, are sufficient to cause a change in the outcome of the election.
Put in another words, INEC declares elections inconclusive when the margin of win is smaller than the number of CANCELLED votes.
INEC explains inconclusive election thus: "It is an election where the total number of registered voters in a particular constituency is sufficient to cause a change in the outcome due to the postponement of election or cancellation of result(s). It may also arise when no candidate meets the criteria for election or threshold to be returned as winner after the initial ballot."
What are cancelled votes?
Cancelled votes are votes that were annulled based on irregularities or anomalies during election. It is only INEC that has the right to cancel votes.
Difference between cancelled votes and rejected votes?
Rejected votes are those that are not counted because of certain mistakes. For instance, if a voter thumbprints on the portion meant for two parties on a ballot paper, the electoral official has the right to declare such vote void.
INEC defines it thus: "A rejected ballot is a ballot where the choice of the voter is not clear e.g. if the thumbprint is between two parties’ symbols, is not in a box near any party or the ballot paper is not thumb printed at all. Such ballot will be rejected and not counted for any party or candidate."
INEC does not declare an election inconclusive if the margin of win is smaller than the REJECTED votes as the tweet above claimed. INEC only considers the margin of win and the CANCELLED votes.
Claim 2: INEC should have declared the election inconclusive because margin of win is smaller than cancelled votes
One Olushola Olufolabi claimed in a Twitter post that INEC should have declared the election inconclusive because the margin of win is smaller that the cancelled votes.
Olufolabi came up with the figure below:
Dapo Abiodun, APC - 241,670
Akinlade, APM - 222,153
Margin - 19,157
Canceled votes - 25,670
Olufolabi's claim should have been valid if the figures quoted are accurate. However, the figures he quoted are fake.
According to INEC's official figure, Dapo Abiodun, the APC candidate scored a total of 241,670 votes to clinch victory.
Abiodun beat his closest rival, Adekunle Akinlade of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM) who came second with 222,153 votes.
The margin of lead is 19,517 and the number of cancelled votes (or election not held) is 7,100.
Since, the number of cancelled votes (7,100) is smaller than the margin of lead (19,517), there is no reason why INEC should have declared the election inconclusive.
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