The Oyo State Resident Electoral Commissioner, Barrister Mutiu Agboke has expressed worries over the issue of void votes during election.
He said that adequate and consistent voters’ education will help to address the problem of void votes in the country’s electoral system.
Speaking at a symposium with the theme: “Minimising Void Votes, “What Citizens Needs to Know and Do”, organised by Politics And Governance Intervention Group in Ibadan, the commissioner who was represented by the Administrative Secretary of INEC in the state, David Asemo pointed out that, void votes have been affecting the total number of votes.
He said that it was time to make sure that every vote count in the election.
He noted that void votes were sometimes higher that could have determined the winner of an election if prevented.
“A vote is to express ones choice or opinion, void means non valid or legally banished, it could also mean completely empty, adequate and consistent education is very important because most of the electorate are illiterate, a ballot is considered void if the electoral umpire realised that the vote is not cast in a proper way,” he said.
He, however, said that the commission was preparing to conduct a free, fair and credible election and “if we want our votes to count, we should avoid void votes because the election of this year will be closely fought compared to what happened in 2015.
“Forty-eight political parties are contesting in Oyo State, this sensitization should not be left to INEC alone, political parties should also educate their members so that they can do the right thing,” he said.