A Ghanaian, John Adama, has developed new voting systems that will nininize the issue of spoilt or rejected ballot papers recorded in elections.
According to Mr. Adama, he has named the systems, “Jak Makavo systems”. He explains that the system has three different dimensions where a voter will not be required to use ink when voting for their preferred candidate.
Under the current electoral voting system in Ghana, ink is used on a ballot paper. In this system, voters are required to place their thumb in ink and thumbprint the side of their preferred candidate or political party.
However, after the past elections, there have been high records of spoilt or rejected ballot papers. Some have attributed this to lack of proper education of the the electoral procedures and the use of ballot papers.
To add on, in 1992, rejected ballots accounted for 3.6 per cent of the valid votes cast and reduced to 1.5 per cent in 1996, but in the first round of the 2000 general election, it accounted for 1.8 per cent of the valid votes cast and reduced to 1.58 per cent during the presidential run-off.
The figure increased in 2004, constituting 2.2 per cent of the votes cast while in 2008 it constituted 2.4 per cent of the valid votes cast.
For instance, in the 2012 general election, 251,720 rejected votes (2.3 per cent) were higher than the total votes secured by all the other presidential candidates, excluding those of the NDC and the NPP.
However, in explaining how the new voting system operates, Mr Adama said the concept “has been designed in such a way that it will help strengthen Ghana’s democratic credentials by eliminating the spoilt or rejected ballots phenomenon.”
In the first instance that he suggested, the ballot papers have two logos of each political party contesting in the election.
The duplicate logos of each party are situated at the top of the ballot paper. Each duplicate logo is removable.
The voter only needs to remove the duplicate logo of the political party of choice and paste it in the square box directly beside the candidate and the party’s original logo.
Mr. Adama also added that under the second suggested voting system, the concept uses a ballot paper and a separate sticker or stamp for the voter.
In the voting box, the voter only needs one sticker or stamp, apply a drop of water to the back of it and paste it in the box beside the photograph of the candidate and the logo of the political party the voter intends to vote for.
For the third voting system, a ballot paper is provided. The box beside the photograph of the candidate as well as the logo of the political party is perforated
The voter only needs to remove the hanging piece of the paper beside the photograph of the preferred candidate as well as the logo of the preferred political party.
A resultant vacuum or a hole is created beside the photograph of the candidate as well as the logo of the political party and the vote is valid for that candidate and the political party.
Mr Adama said the new voting systems when upon its implementation by the Electoral Commission (EC) would go help solve the challenges facing the current system of voting.