A survey conducted by the Political Science Department of the University of Ghana has suggested that six out of 10 Ghanaians are in favour of new voters’ register for the 2020 elections.
According to the department, many of the respondents believe a new register will ensure the credibility of the polls.
The survey revealed that 64.9% of Ghanaians are in support of the Electoral Commission’s decision to compile a new voters’ register for the December polls.
The survey, conducted in December 2019, asked the 27,500 respondents a simple question, “The Electoral Commission intends to compile a new voters’ register. Do you agree?”
Respondents from all the 16 regions of the country backed the decision with the Upper East Region leading with 79.45% of the 1,499 respondents.
In the governing New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) biggest stronghold, Ashanti Region, 74.42% of the 4,707 respondents backed the EC’s decision.
In the Volta Region, the biggest stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), 54.39% of the 1,800 respondents said they wanted a new voters’ register.
The most popular reason respondents gave for their support of the new register was “to ensure credibility” of the election results. This was 37.5%.
Others said the process would help eliminate deceased persons’ names from the register while others said it would help to detect and delete the names of non-citizens on the register.
Those who were not in support of the EC’s decision said it would be a waste of resources and some of them believed the “incumbent [party, NPP wants to gain advantage over the opposition.
The opposition NDC, who has been leading some smaller opposition parties to resist the compilation of a new voters’ register has dismissed the findings of the survey.
Deputy General Secretary of the party, Peter Otokunor questioned the methodology used for the survey.
Responding to Otokunor’s claims, Dr. Isaac Owusu Mensah, who is a lead member of the research team, the respondents were selected at random, adding that purposive sampling itself is not outdated as suggested by the NDC man.
He also dismissed the suggestion that Dr. Bossman’s former affiliation to the Political Science Department or any other bias could influence their findings since it was purely a scientific process.
The survey comes in the wake of the standoff between some political parties and the electoral commission over attempt by the commission to create a new register.
The reasons given by the respondent for a new register are as follows:
1.To remove deceased names
- To detect foreign names
- To get a credible register
- In the Volta Region, 1,800 were polled 54% were for yes 45% were for no while Ashanti Region 4,707 were polled 74.2% were for yes 25% were for no.
The margin of error for the entire exercise was 1% according to the pollsters.