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05 July 2016

Drunkards responsible for rejected ballots – Former Dep. EC Chair

davidkanga“In Ghana, many people have been complaining that there are many spoilt ballots. And we are not taking time to analyse why the ballots, several of them, are spoilt. One of the causes is drunkenness,” he said.

A member of the Council of State and former Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), David Adeenze-Kangah has attributed the increasing figures of rejected ballots during general elections to drink-voting.

“In Ghana, many people have been complaining that there are many spoilt ballots. And we are not taking time to analyse why the ballots, several of them, are spoilt. One of the causes is drunkenness. Somebody is drunk. They give him the ballot paper.
“When he sees this one, he thinks that is the person (his preferred candidate). He would mark. Then, suddenly, he would see that it is not this one; it’s the next one. Then, he would mark that one, too. As soon as he marks the two, then, the ballot is spoilt. And that can come about because of alcohol,” he said.

spoiltballot

The former Deputy EC Chair made this known during the celebration of the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking held in Bolgatanga, Upper East regional capital.

The event was organised by Life out of Alcohol and Drugs Ghana (LOAD Ghana) in partnership with the Basic Needs Ghana.

The Council of State Member also indicated that some violence recorded during elections could also be blamed on drink-voting.

“When you get drunk and you go to the polling station, you are likely to cause violence. Imagine that somebody went in the morning and got himself drunk. When he goes to the polling station, he is likely to disagree with almost everybody. Within a short time, he would begin to abuse people.

“People would get irritated. When they take him on, his support group may jump to his defence. In the end, we have one group here quarreling or fighting another group. People may start using sticks and what not. That’s what we call violence,” explained Mr. Adeenze-Kangah, who was the guest speaker at the event.

Concerns have been raised over the years about the increasing figures of spoilt or rejected ballot papers during general elections.

866,817 votes were rejected from 2008 to 2012. The figure represents 1.76% of the 49,071,047 total votes cast at the two general elections.

Many have subsequently called on the EC, political parties and the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) to ensure that the number of rejected ballots is reduced.

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