Abaco leads the list with the lowest voter registration totals in the country as eligible registered voters numbers are lagging nationwide according to data provided by the Parliamentary Registration Department.
With just over 40 percent of eligible voters registered to vote in the next general election, registration in the Family Islands lags far behind that in New Providence and Grand Bahama.
In fact, among the Family Islands Central and South Abaco has the lowest percentage of registered voters with 660 (20.54 percent) out of the 3,214 eligible voters.
Registration among the rest of the Family Islands remains around the mid-20s percentile to the low 30s.
Registration on New Providence ranges from 35 percent to 55 percent of eligible voters, while registration is around 40 percent on Grand Bahama.
Overall, only 42.7 percent (73,569 people) of the estimated eligible voters registered as of Dec 27, according to Parliamentary Commissioner Sherlyn Hall.
According to data posted by the department on its Facebook page on the number of eligible voters per constituency, the lowest number of registered voters as a percentage of eligible voters on New Providence was Bains Town and Grants Town where 2,126 people (32.26 percent) have registered out of the 6,570 eligible.
Notably, registration on Exuma seems to be picking up, with it having moved up nine spots in terms of registered voters.
Killarney has the highest number of registered voters – 3,004 people registered of the 5,371 eligible voters. This represents 55.93 percent.
It is difficult to make concrete conclusions this early concerning the low registration numbers; however, the data may have implications on potential voter turnout in the next general election.
Five years ago, there were approximately 134,000 registered voters – 60,431 more than there were on December 22. Ultimately, 172,000 people registered to vote in the 2012 general election.
Mr. Hall said recently there is “voter apathy throughout the country”.
Traditionally the department has seen spikes in registration following political conventions, but Hall revealed that this did not happen following the Free National Movement’s (FNM) July convention or the Democratic National Alliance’s (DNA) September convention.
The PLP is expected to have its convention in late January.
Yesterday, while on Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Perry Christie said Bahamians who have not registered are not fulfilling their obligation as citizens of The Bahamas “and since you don’t know when I am going to call the election, you better get registered now”.
While in Acklins in December, the prime minister also urged Bahamians to register to vote, declaring “it’s not long now when you will be called upon to exercise your democratic right to vote in general elections”.
He said as of the New Year, “things will go fast and furious”.