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Rerun or runoff? Things you need to know about an inconclusive poll

Rerun or runoff? Things you need to know about an inconclusive poll
September 23
15:58 2018
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It is official: the governorship election in Osun state has been declared inconclusive.

Joseph Afuwape, returning officer of the election, who announced this said the requirements for a candidate to be returned as winner were not met.

Ademola Adeleke, candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), polled majority vote of 254,698 while Isiaka Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) followed with 254,345 votes, leaving a difference of 353.

This difference is far higher than the cancelled 3,498 votes recorded in the election.

What is an inconclusive election?

It is an election 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.

What are cancelled votes?

Cancelled votes are votes that were annulled based on irregularities or anomalies during election. It is the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) which has the right to cancel votes.

Any difference between cancelled votes and voided votes?

Yes. A big difference, though some people use them interchangeably. Voided votes are votes 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.

A voter can only cast his ballot for a party.

INEC has fixed Thursday for a re-run election in Osun.

First, what is a re-run election?

A re-run election is an election conducted when the first one was marred by malpractices or when correct procedures were not followed. For instance, declaring an election inconclusive because of the number of polling units were the votes were cancelled. According to electoral rules, a re-run election can be so declared if the margin of victory in an election is lower than cancelled votes.

Is a rerun election different from run-off?

Yes. This is an election conducted when the first election fails to produce a clear winner for the position of president or governor. This can happen when the candidate with the highest votes does not have the required vote spread in the affected state/federation. A run-off will involve just the two leading contenders.

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