Biometric Election Technology, Voter Experience and Turnout in Ghana

This study investigates the experiences of voters with election technologies
such as the biometric system for voter registration and verification (BVRV),
as well as whether such technologies affected both turnout and trust in
Ghana’s 2012 and 2016 elections. The paper also explores whether the
introduction of BVRVs increased or decreased levels of voter trust in the
Electoral Commission (EC) and election outcomes. Using both primary and
secondary data, the study found that the introduction of BVRV in election
management in Ghana influenced the turnout for both the educated and the
uneducated. While most of the former were eager to experience this novel
approach, the same could not be said of the latter, less educated group.
The study noted that state institutions do not take population diversity
into consideration when introducing technological interventions. They
take it for granted that citizens have the same capability, resulting in the
marginalisation and neglect of a large section of the populace; this lack of
trust in turn has a negative effect on voter turnout. The study recommends
that such inequities in society should be taken into consideration when
implementing interventions like BVRV in election management, specifically
in Ghana but also in other African countries with similar socioeconomic and
political conditions.

File Type: pdf
Categories: Journal of African Elections
journal of african elections vol18 number 1 transparent democratic governance in africa