Mali Elections: Counting Polling Place Closures from the First Round (Regional and Cercle-Level Data)

Hopefully this post doesn’t duplicate work that has already been done elsewhere, but I have not seen anyone go through and give the cercle-level data from the Malian government’s list of polling place closures from the first round of the presidential elections. Let me restate, for clarity: when Malians voted on 29 July, 871 polling places were closed “for various reasons” (mostly connected to insecurity), according to the government. Those closures were concentrated in one region – Mopti, in the center – and even within Mopti they were concentrated in certain administrative cercles, especially the ones that had already been deeply affected by violence.

So here are some figures on the closures (hand-counted by me, so it’s possible that some mistakes crept in, particularly with Mopti cercle and Tenenkou cercle):

Regional Level

Mali has ten regions (formerly eight). The closures affected four of those regions:

  • Mopti: 729
  • Timbuktu: 101
  • Segou: 39
  • Koulikoro: 2

Both of Koulikoro’s closures were in one cercle, Nara, so I won’t go through that in the counts below.

Cercle Level – Mopti

Mopti has eight cercles (see the Wikipedia map here). The closures affected seven of those cercles (the unaffected cercle was Bankass, the southeasternmost cercle):

  • Mopti: 193
  • Tenenkou: 190
  • Douentza: 154
  • Koro: 58
  • Youwarou: 58
  • Djenne: 50
  • Bandiagara: 26

Cercle Level – Timbuktu

Timbuktu has five cercles (unless my information is out of date since the reorganization from eight into ten regions, in which case I hope readers will correct me; in any case, the Wikipedia map is here). The closures affected four of those cercles:

  • Tombouctou (Timbuktu): 47
  • Gourma-Rharous: 40
  • Niafunke: 12
  • Goundam: 2

Cercle Level – Segou (39 Total)

Segou has seven cercles (Wikipedia map here). The closures affected two of those cercles (the two that border some of the worst-hit areas in Mopti)

  • Niono: 32
  • Macina: 7

I may draw some more conclusions from this data in other posts or pieces, but the immediate and obvious conclusion is the Mopti was the worst affected by far, and that the broad north-south band from Niono in Segou up through Mopti (particularly the western half of the region (Tenenkou, Mopti, Youwarou, Djenne, although obviously Douentza was very bad as well) and then into the Timbuktu region was the main corridor of electoral violence in the first round.

The second round figures are here, although I have not yet seen a cercle-level breakdown of closures. But in the second round as in the first, Mopti was far and away the region with the most closures.

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