Incentives and Decisions: Voters’ Knowledge of the Laws on Vote Buying and its Implications for Ghana’s Democracy (Published)
This paper sought to investigate whether the incentives given to voters affect voters’ decisions at the polls. It also looks at whether Ghanaians are conversant with the laws and legislations on elections and for that matter vote buying. The mixed method approach with explanatory sequential design was employed for the study. The population for the study comprised the entire group of potential voters in the Shama District in the Western Region who are 18 years and above. Probability and non-probability sampling methods were employed to select the sample of district, communities and respondents for the study. Data from questionnaire was triangulated with interviews. The Pearson Chi-Square was used in finding significant differences. The p-value is the probability for showing differences and a critical value of alpha=.05 was adopted for sig differences in the statistical analysis. It was concluded that the economic status or the income level of electorates has no effects on decisions about the person to vote for. There is a relationship between vote buying incentives and voters’ decisions. This makes incentives effective in winning votes.it was therefore recommended that the governments should make it a point to reduce poverty by enhancing wealth redistribution by creating or providing jobs especially for the rural folks.
Keywords: Democracy, Ghana, Vote Buying, Voting Incentives, electoral laws, voters