District Level Elections - Educational institutions should help improve voter turnout
The 2023 District Level Election (DLE), barring any last-minute changes, will be held on December 19, 2023, allowing eligible voters to elect Assembly Members to represent their respective electoral areas in the various metropolitan, municipal, and district assemblies (MMDAs), as well as five Unit Committee Members in each electoral area.
The primary purpose of the local government system in Ghana is to bring governance to the doorstep of the people.
Assembly members play a crucial role in the governance process at the local level as they serve as an electoral college to determine the fate of a nominee of the President for chief executive of the MMDAs.
However, it is evident that except on a few occasions, this process is often a mere formality, where nominees secure approval without merit by paying their way through.
The turnout in DLEs is typically lower than that in general elections.
One factor contributing to the low turnout is the lack of appreciation among local people for the role of Assembly and Unit Committee members in the development of their electoral areas.
Additionally, the non-active participation of political parties in DLEs accounts for the low level of interest in these elections.
To enhance turnout in the upcoming DLEs, it would be appropriate for various educational institutions to adjust their academic calendars, allowing students to vacate before December 19, 2023.
Educational institutions, such as the colleges of education, universities, nursing training colleges, as well as the senior high/technical schools, which are under the supervision of Ghana Education Service (GES), should make the necessary adjustments to enable their student-electorate to exercise their civil right to vote for those who will manage the affairs of their respective localities.
Considering this plea will likely have a positive impact on voter turnout in the upcoming DLE.
Best wishes to all aspiring Assembly and Unit Committee Members!
Unit Committee Aspirant,
Loagri-Kukua Electoral Area.