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.
Culture of Vote Buying and Its Implications: Range Of Incentives and Conditions Politicians Offer to Electorates (Published)
Each election year and in almost every local and institutional elections the issue of vote buying surfaces. Vote buying has almost become part of every election in Ghana. While the menace is on the increase, it is unclear whether votes bought translate into votes for the buyer or the buying party. This work sought to investigate the range of incentives and conditions politicians give to electorates. Sequential mixed-method design was employed for the study. Data from questionnaire was triangulated with interviews. The target population for this study consists of the entire group of potential voters in Shama District in the Western Region who were 18 years and above. Five (5) communities or electoral areas in the district were selected for the study. These communities were Atwereboanda, Komfueku, Beposo, Nyankrom and Shama. A sample size of three hundred (300) was chosen for the quantitative (questionnaires administered) aspect of the research while twenty of them were purposively selected for the qualitative (interviews conducted) aspect of the study. Two party activists were also interviewed to support the data. Non-probability (convenience, proportional and purposive) sampling techniques were employed to select the district, communities and respondents for the study. The study revealed among other things that: (a) Items that are used to buy votes include silver pans (basins), cloths, gas cylinders, laptops, money, outboard motors, wellington boots and party branded items; and (b) During vote buying, conditions are not actually attached to the incentives except where there are doubts that one wants to take the incentive without reciprocating with his/her vote. Enforcing laws on vote buying by all stakeholders including the police, the judiciary, the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) and resolving to fight corruption among leaders who also use all means to make money to engage in vote buying would go a long way to solve the menace