Electorate grew 8% since last municipal election

By Adele Ramos
Freelance Reporter

Voters across 9 municipalities went to the polls on March 7th to choose the individuals and parties that will govern locally for the next three years. At last report, 114,574 people ages 18 and over were registered to vote, representing an increase of 8% since the last 2015 municipal elections.

The last time the People’s United Party won the municipals was in 2003, when 70,692 electors were registered to vote. Since then, roughly 44,000 voters were added to the list – an average of roughly 3,000 voters each year.
The voters list grew by double digit figures for the periods 2003 to 2006, 2006 to 2009 and 2009 to 2012. The interval which saw the biggest growth in the voters list was 2006 to 2009, when the electorate grew by 14% or 10,965 voters. At the time of the following election, there were 9,565 more voters added to the list – representing an increase of 11%.

The biggest municipality is Belize City, which today has 45,408 registered voters. Roughly 40% of voters for the municipal elections are registered in Belize City. The next most populous municipality is the twin town jurisdiction of San Ignacio/Santa Elena, with 14,102 voters. Next in line is Orange Walk with 12,407 voters.

When the last municipal elections were held, 57% of voters turned out to vote, with the lowest voter turnout being in Belize City. In that municipality, 48.5% turned out to vote.
Re-registration of voters last took place in 2006, and is again slated for July 2018.

In last week’s story titled, Electorate grew 8% since last municipal election, the last paragraph stated that, “Re-registration of voters last took place in 2006…” The record shows that the exercise was last done in 1997.

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