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Feb 4, 2008

157,000 Belizeans registered to vote

Story PictureThe final statistics are out and, not surprisingly, they show that a record number of Belizeans have registered to vote. A total of one hundred fifty-six thousand, nine hundred and thirty-three people are on the rolls, amounting to over ninety-seven percent of those eligible. Men outnumber women by approximately two thousand, five hundred, a difference of about one point five percent.

The most notable feature of the data is the great disparity in size between the thirty-one constituencies. They range from a low of three thousand, one hundred and ninety-five voters in Fort George to a high of seven thousand and eighty-five in Stann Creek West. That gap is hardly a one time aberration as when you compare the eleven Belize City divisions with the twenty district constituencies you find that the average city division has only three thousand, four hundred and eighty-eight voters while the average in the districts is a whopping five thousand, nine hundred and thirty-one. What this means is that city dwellers have a proportionally far greater level of representation compared to their fellow Belizeans in rural areas. And this is less than four years after a redistricting exercise that was supposed to follow the constitutional mandate to make each constituency equal in size. Privately, a number of district candidates have complained of this serious discrepancy, but officially both parties, centered in Belize City, have been silent on the situation which gives the old Capital three more seats than it constitutionally deserves. For a detailed look at the stats you can visit the Election and Boundaries Department website:

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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