In politics, voter apathy is a term used to describe a perceived apathy (lack of caring) among voters in an election. Voter apathy is often cited as a cause of low turnout among eligible voters. A related term, "voter fatigue", describes a possible cause of voter apathy: elections that are held too frequently. It's when someone could vote but they choose not to simple because they don't care and can't be bothered. They are also the ones that complain the most about who wins the election. In Ghana, apathetic voters metamorphose into floating voters of a sorte.A survey by CIVIC AND DEMOCRACY PLATFORM has revealed that voter apathy is growing rapidly among the voting populace one clear year ahead of election 2012.With the 3000 sample size of respondents in the ten regions, 2220 people, representing 74% said they were not going to vote for various reasons. Our demography was 80 percent rural and 20 urban respondents. We chose to release the findings of this survey one clear year ahead of election 2012 because, it will give ample time to institutions such as Electoral commission, National Commission for Civic Education and other related bodies, encourage more people to exercise their franchise. A summary of the survey is as follows:
The survey was formulated to ensure it spans beyond a particular regime, so as to defuse the notion that it is meant to achieve political gains for any political party. The period captured in the survey's analysis is from 2000 elections to 2008.The civic and democracy forum deems it fit and within its core objective to highlight national issues in the utmost objective sense.
It must be noted that, voter apathy contributes in totality to the number of spoilt ballots, In spite of the media hype of Election 2008, voter turnout dropped from 8,813,908 total vote cast representing 85.1 percent of total registered voters of 10,354,970 in Election 2004 to 8,671,272 total votes cast representing 69.52 percent of total registered voters of 12,472,758.Electoral Statistics from the Research and Monitoring Department of the Electoral Commission (EC) indicated that the total valid votes cast in Election 2004 was 8,625,785 whiles total valid votes in Election 2008 was 8,465,834. (SOURCE ELECTORAL COMMISSION-11/12/2008)
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS
|REGIONS COVERED||NO OF RESPONDENTS||NO OF RESPONDENTS |
WHO WILL VOTE
|NO OF RESPONDENTS WHO WILL NOT VOTE|
|Eastern, Greater Accra |
Central, Ashanti, Northern and Western
The research was conducted in six regions with 25 volunteer staff of the forum who were chosen from each region randomly.5000 questionnaires were sent out but only 2989 were completed, which led to the round figure of 3000.Volunteer staff went to the market places, lorry parks and schools to administer the questionnaire to persons who were willing to fill, and were within the voting age of 18 years and above.
Below is a sample of the questionnaire:
QUESTIONAIRE FOR DEMOCRACY SURVEY ON VOTER APATHY BY THE CIVIC AND DEMOCRACY PLATFORM
1) Have you ever voted before since 1992? YES………. NO…..
2) If yes, how many times
3) If no why?
4) Will you vote in 2012?
5) If yes, why?
6) If no, why
Some reasons given by respondents who said they were not going to vote are as follows:
1) Loss of confidence and trust in politicians
2) It's a waste of time going to join a long queue to vote someone into power to enrich himself
3) Expectations are not met
The CIVIC and Democracy Platform recommends that, though the sample size may be small is of significance if looked at in the larger picture. The electoral commission, National commission for Civic Education and other related bodies should do their best to encourage people to go and vote in election 2012.
This survey sought the views of:
1) Public affair department of NCCE
2) Political Science lecturer-K.N.U.S.T
Kwesi Amakye Boateng 0244038608
It is our hope that enthusiasm of people will be revived when the campaign begins in 2012.We hope the needed action will be taken timely as we have just 12months before election 2012.
Lead Project officer
(Civic And Democracy Platform)