During a presentation at the US National Peace Institute on October 12, President Nana Akufo-Addo stated that Ghana has never had less than 70% of registered voters participating in its elections. The President made this statement while answering questions after his presentation.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified this claim and presents the verdict below
Claim: “In my own country, the turnout of people at elections; the numbers are very high. In the eight (8) electoral consultations we’ve had in Ghana, we have never had less than 70 % of the registered electorate turning out to vote.”
Explanation: Ghana has held eight elections since returning to democracy in 1992. The voter turnout varied in each election, with some recording over 70% turnout and others less than 60%.
In the 2000 elections, out of a total of 10,698,652 registered voters, 6,500,870 votes were cast, resulting in a 61.70% voter turnout for the first round. In the second round, there were 6,459,003 votes cast out of the total of 10,698,652 registered voters, resulting in 60.4% voter turnout.
In the 2004 elections, out of 10,354,970 registered voters, 8,813,908 votes were cast. This represents an 85.12% turnout. In 2008, there were 8,671,272 votes cast out of a total of 12,472,758 registered voters, which is a 69.52% turnout in the first round. In the second round, there were 9,094,364 votes cast out of the 12,472,758 registered voters, representing a 72.91% turnout.
In 2012, out of 14,158,890 registered voters, a total of 11,246,982 votes were cast, resulting in a 79.43% turnout. In 2016, out of the total of 15,712,505 registered voters, a total of 10,931,071 cast their votes, resulting in a 69.6% voter turnout.
In the last general elections, 2020, out of the total of 17,027,641 registered voters, a total of 13,432,857 were cast, resulting in a 79.0% turnout. Below is a tabular presentation of the registered voters and voter turnout in the last eight elections.
|Year||Registered Voters||Voter Turnout|
|2000 (Round One)||10,698,652||61.70%|
|2000 (Round Two)||10,698,652||60.4%|
|2008 (Round One)||12,472,758||69.52%|
|2008 (Round Two)||12,472,758||72.91%|
Source: EC, Parliament of Ghana and African Elections
Based on the above results we can see that since 1992 when Ghana returned to democracy, there have been varied voter turnout with some less than 70 % and others more than that. As such the claim of the President that Ghana has never had a voter turnout of less than 70 % is false.
The writer of this report, Ibrahim Khalilulahi Usman, is a fellow of the Next Generation Investigative Journalism Fellowship at the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA).