October 14, 2009

Problems of Voter Registration in Ghana: A Case Study of the 2008 Voter Registration Exercise in Techiman Municipality

1.0 Introduction

According to Article 42 of the Constitution, every citizen of Ghana of 18 years of age and above and of sound mind has the right to vote and is entitled to be registered as a voter for the purposes of public elections and referenda. Aside from these qualifications, other qualifications for registration are resident or ordinarily resident in an electoral area and not prohibited by any law in force from registering as a voter. Prior to the registration process, procurement of registration materials, recruitment of temporary staff and training of staff are conducted.

During the actual registration process, applicant should appear before a Registration Officer (RO) and the RO should administer the questionnaire on the applicant. Registration Applicants (RA) and together with the RO should complete the OMR form and is endorsed by the RA. Picture of applicant is captured by a camera man and the Voter's ID card is issued by the laminator. OMR forms are sent to the headquarters and registers are compiled.

For each registration centers, the registration process is open for public inspection and scrutiny at the center, known as the exhibition period. During this period, voters can ascertain whether particulars on the ID are the same with that of the registers. RAs who were accepted to be on the register but mistakenly have omitted can request for his/her name to be included in the register. Registered voters can object to persons not qualified to be on the register.

2.0 Problem Statement

EC Ghana aims for transparency and credibility of voter registration exercises. In 2008, an 11-day nationwide voter's registration exercises were conducted but there are moved to extend such exercise by NPP and PNC. The exercise is deemed a success generally but it is hampered by several illegalities. These irregularities must be addressed is the government of Ghana means to conduct of a clean campaign and produce credible election results. Specifically, Techiman Municipal District in Brong Ahafo Region has experienced irregularities that contribute to the declining public confidence in the electoral process.

The following research problems will be addressed:

1) What are the irregularities (problems) experienced by RAs in Techiman Municipality?

2) How do the residents of Techiman Municipality perceive the voter registration exercise of 2008?

3) How do they perceive the irregularities experienced?

4) In what specific ways, these irregularities could be avoided?

3.0 Aim and Objectives

The main of aim this study is to understand the problems encountered by the RAs in Techiman Municipality in the 2008 voter registration exercise. In lieu with this, their perceptions as to why these irregularities had occurred will be explored. It would be important to identify the problems encountered by the RAs and what should be done so that these events could be avoided in the future.

4.0 Methodology

The research strategy that the study will utilize is the descriptive method. A descriptive research intends to present facts concerning the nature and status of a situation, as it exists at the time of the study (Creswell, 1994). It is also concerned with relationships and practices that exist, beliefs and processes that are ongoing, effects that are being felt, or trends that are developing (Best, 1970). In addition, such approach tries to describe present conditions, events or systems based on the impressions or reactions of the respondents of the research (Creswell, 1994).

The second method that will be employed is the case study. According to Robson (2002), a case study is a "strategy for doing research which involves an empirical investigation of a particular contemporary phenomenon within its real life context using multiple sources of evidence."

The survey method, also known as the questionnaire method, will be used in gathering the data for this study. A structured questionnaire will be used as the instrument.

5.0 References

Best, J. W. (1970). Research in Education, 2nd Ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, Inc.

Creswell, J.W. (1994). Research design. Qualitative and quantitative approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Kye-Duodu, K. Voter Registration System in Ghana.

Robson, C. (2002). Real world research, 2nd edn, Blackwell, Oxford.

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