#Ballotwatch: Top 10 constituencies rejected ballots are likely to occur
For the first time since 1992, the country’s two main political parties are spending time on their platforms educating voters on the right way to vote.
This comes on the back of thousands of wasted ballots in every election year.
Since 1992, there has been a phenomenal increase in the incidence of rejected ballots during elections making it difficult for the wishes of the electorate to be known.
Sometimes, these rejected ballot papers have amounted to huge percentages of the votes in excess of the total number of votes garnered by some political parties. In other instances too, these rejected ballots could have been added to the votes of political parties that lost elections to make them winners.
As the 2020 campaign enters its last lap, theghanareport.com combed through the 2016 election data to find which top 10 constituencies recorded the most rejected ballots.
The outcome was revealing as the data showed that presidential elections record more rejected ballots than Parliamentary.
The data also showed that 4 out of the 10 constituencies with the highest number of rejected ballots were from the Upper East Region, two from Northern, and one each from the Volta, Western, North East and Central regions.
Eight out of the 10 constituencies with high rejected ballots are strongholds of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) with the two others being swing constituencies.
Below is the breakdown:
- KETU SOUTH (VOLTA)
Ketu South recorded the highest number of spoilt ballots with 2,011 votes not counted for the presidential election and 1,392 for the parliamentary respectively.
Ketu South is a stronghold of the NDC. In 2016, the NDC’s John Mahama won this constituency with 57,689-vote margin. For the parliamentary, the NDC’s candidate, Fiifi Kwetey won by 30,080 vote difference.
- KARAGA (NORTHERN REGION)
The constituency got 1,997 spoilt ballots in the presidential and 903 for Parliamentary elections. It is another NDC backyard. The NPP, however, won it once in 2004.
In 2016, the difference between the winner and loser of the parliamentary election was 5,022 votes and that of the presidential was 3,894 votes.
- KOMENDA EDINA EGUAFO ABIREM (CENTRAL REGION)
In this coastal constituency, 1,930 ballots were ruined in the presidential elections and 129 for the parliamentary respectively in 2016. The NDC has been winning this constituency since 1992, with the exception of 2004 when the NPP flipped it.
In 2016, the difference between Mr Mahama who won it and President Akufo-Addo was 4,063. Samuel Atta Mills had 3,097 more votes to win the seat.
- PUSIGA (UPPER EAST)
In the last election, 1,776 ballots were rejected in the presidential elections in Pusiga where the NDC has been the dominant party since 2004 when the constituency was created. 1,241 ballots were wasted in the parliamentary election in 2016. The NDC won the presidential election with 8,301 votes in 2016 and the parliamentary—4,332 votes.
- JOMORO (WESTERN REGION)
Jomoro is a swing constituency where 1,747 votes did not count in the presidential elections and 1,098 in the parliamentary. Four years ago, President Nana Akufo-Addo won this constituency by 884 votes—which is less than the wasted ballots. The incumbent MP, Paul Essien of the NPP won by 4,453 more votes.
- NALERIGU/GAMBAGA (NORTH EAST)
In Nareligu/Gambaga, 1,709 votes were counted as invalid in 2016 in the presidential elections and 1,056 in the parliamentary elections. However, President Nana Akufo-Addo won the constituency by 3,155 vote difference and Hajia Alima Mahama won the seat by 4,351 difference.
- GUSHEGU (NORTHERN REGION)
Four years ago, 1,616 votes were not valid in the presidential election and 1,111 in the parliamentary polls. However, President Akufo-Addo won the election by 1,729 more votes as against 4,050 ballots by Dr Ziblim Iddi, the NPP candidate who won the parliamentary poll. Gushegu is a swing constituency.
- BOLGATANGA CENTRAL (UPPER EAST)
In the case of Bolgatanga Central constituency, 1,575 voters had their ballots rejected in the presidential elections and 1,073 others in parliamentary elections, which Isaac Adongo won by 9,432 more vote difference. Former President Mahama won this constituency by a 17,755-vote margin. Apart from 2000 and 2004 when the NPP won this constituency, the NDC has it in its grips.
- BONGO (UPPER EAST)
In the Bongo constituency, 1,575 ballots were not useful in the presidential election. On the other hand, 1,018 were rejected for the parliamentary election, which the NDC’s Edward Bawa won with a 5,490 vote difference. Former President Mahama won with a 14,343 margin.
- CHIANA-PAGA (UPPER EAST)
In the 2016 presidential polls, 1,569 ballots were rejected in Chiana-Paga while 1,018 ballots were thrown away in the parliamentary election. Former President Mahama won the constituency with a 11,056-vote difference and the NDC’s parliamentary candidate, with a 3,908 margin.