AN ANALYSIS OF VOTE SELLING AND ITS IMPACT ON VOTING BEHAVIOUR IN THE ASHAIMAN CONSTITUENCY

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ABSTRACT

The thrust of this study was to analyze vote selling and its impact on voting behaviour in the Ashaiman constituency. Specifically, it sought to examine the reasons why voters sell their votes, explore how vote selling transactions are conducted and analyze the implications of vote selling for Ghana’s democracy. The study adopted the qualitative approach within which the case study design was used. The population comprised all voters in the Ashaiman constituency. The targeted population numbered 136,989. Using purposive sampling 60 voters were selected. In the end 45 respondents were interviewed. From the study, it was found that voters sell their votes because after elections politicians fail to fulfill their campaign promises, low level of incomes and readiness of politicians to spend money on their campaign and their strong support for the party. It was also found that voters approach politicians through agents (local champions) who use it as a way of making money for themselves. They also appear in a form of organized groups and or on individual basis to make pledges for immediate reward in order to throw their support at the polls. The study again established that vote selling does influence voting behaviour since after receiving their packages most voters felt they had to hold their end of the bargain. Also, it was established that vote selling leads to larger public deficits and public sector inefficiencies and higher levels of corruption in government. It is recommended that a serious nationwide education is embarked on against vote selling by the EC, NCCE and IPAC especially in the run up to elections. Voters should also be educated on the core business of MPs in order to remove the burden of campaign promises from the shoulders of aspirants.