By on April 19, 2016
Elections in Ghana – and perhaps elsewhere in the world – are often characterized by some irregularities. These abnormalities pose some threat to the credibility of elections results of the country. Nobody can completely eliminate human error in any task, but practical steps can be taken to reduce its occurrence in order to foster the trust of the people in the final results when they are declared. In this post we will focus on Ghana’s election results in 2012 and the various irregularities and incidents recorded by the Coalition of Domestic Elections Observers (CODEO).
Ghanaians are no foreigners to the issue of elections irregularities. After the 2012 elections, the NPP took the Electoral Commission and the NDC to the Supreme Court because of some irregularities before, during and after the voting procedure. After 6 months, the court ruled in favor of the Electoral commission and the NDC by dismissing the case. The fact that there were irregularities and some incidents was not in dispute, but the case was dismissed based on the fact that the irregularities were not enough to overturn the results of the elections. However, to dissolve doubts and to reduce the lack of confidence in the operations of the EC, it is imperative that measures are taken to permanently eliminate some of these irregularities. Ghanaians would expect to see the implementation of the reforms that were outlined in accordance to the grievances raised by the NPP at the Supreme Court.
In the CODEO report, some of these irregularities include: Intimidation or Harassment, Violence, Violation of voting procedures, Vote buying/bribery etc. In the visualization below, there were other irregularities that were categorized under the broad heading ‘Others’. According to the CODEO report, here are the ones that fall under this classification:
- Absence of security at polling station, harassment of EC officials because of late start of voting;
- Malfunctioning of verification machines and associated challenges;
- Misunderstanding between party agents and Presiding Officers over placement of seals on ballot boxes;
- Arguments between Presiding Officers and voters leading to delayed voting; and
- Fighting among voters in the queue and subsequent disruption in the voting process.
Check out this interactive bar graph that displays how many incidents of election irregularities were recorded in CODEO’s report on the 2012 Ghana elections in all ten regions of Ghana.