SUBJECT: CIVIC EDUCATION
TERM: 3RD TERM
- Forms of electoral malpractices.
- Causes of electoral malpractices.
- Consequences of electoral malpractices.
- Solutions to electoral malpractices.
MEANING OF ELECTORAL MALPRACTICE
Electoral malpractice can be defined as an illegal interference with electoral process. It is also called electoral fraud or voters’ fraud. It includes illegal registration, intimidation at polling station and improper counting of votes.
What are electoral malpractices?
FORMS OF ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES
- Use of fake ballot papers: When fake ballot papers are used for casting vote, such papers are used for multi-voting purposes so that a particular candidate can win the elections.
- Underage voting: This is a situation when youths beneath below the constitutionally approved voting age are made to vote. This usually happens where the population of a particular area has more under age voters.
- The use of thugs: This is a situation where thugs are used by political parties scare the electorates in doing their own bidding or denying them of performing their civic duties through the aid of weapons.
- Financial inducement: Voters may be given money or other rewards to vote for a particular candidate though, this may be their choice. This can as well be through the church or mosque where the pastor or imam will tell their followers to vote for a particular candidate.
- Ballot stuffing: This occurs when the electorates cast more than votes expected. It simply means stuffing multiple ballot papers into the ballot boxes in favour of a particular party or its candidate. It can be in form of voting in many polling booths for the same party or its candidate.
- Artificial scarcity of electoral materials: This is a situation where there is a deliberate denial of the electorates of voting materials such as ballot boxes, papers to frustrate them. This usually happens in areas where a particular candidate has a strong presence and could be hardly be defeated.
Mention three electoral malpractices.
CAUSES OF ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES
- Crave for power: Many politicians engage in what is called “do or die” politics. This is because they want political power at all cost. Such politicians are such that engage in looting the government treasury.
- Poverty: Some electorates are easily won over through the distribution of food items, clothes, money, shoes and so on. In essence, their conscience can be bought especially when their immediate needs are met.
- Bribery and corruption: Some electoral officers often connive with some politicians so as to inflate their votes. When these officers have been bought with money, they tend to overlook what is happening to the ballot boxes and papers.
- Influence of the party in power: The electoral body often is at the mercy of the government in power. There might be an “order from above”to favour the candidates of the party in power.
- Lack of stiff punishments for the offenders: When laws are broken and the perpetrators are not brought to face the wrath of the law, it encourages others to continue since they know that there will be little or no punishment.
- Godfathers: This is a situation where an influential personality in the society often dictates the results of elections in the state. One of such prominent figures was the late Chief LamidiAdedibu, who was very influential in Oyo State, Nigeria.
CONSEQUENCES OF ELECTORAL MALPRACTICES
Some of the effects of electoral malpractices are as follows:
- Bad leadership: This is the number one consequence of electoral malpractices. When the wrong people are in government, there is bound to be slow development, lack of vision and corruption.
- Riots and chaos: Violence, destruction of houses and property are some of the aftermath of electoral malpractices. In most cases, precious lives are lost in the mayhem over election results.
- Loss of interest in voting: Whenever election results are manipulated, the voters might not be interested in voting in subsequent elections.
- Bad image: Whenever there is constant electoral malpractices, the international community will view such country from the perspective of corruption. This often makes foreign investors not to come to such a country that could not handle elections.
- Military intervention: When civil unrest, bad leadership and bad leadership happen as a result of electoral malpractices, it is inevitable for the military to take power. This often is a setback for the democracy of any country. As a result, all democratic institutions will be
suspended and the country will be ruled through decrees.
State three consequences of electoral malpractices
SOLUTIONS TO ELECTORAL MALPRACTICE
Electoral malpractice can be prevented. However, the following steps should be considered:
- Proper planning by the electoral body: The electoral commission in charge of elections should do proper planning of the elections so that there will be no loopholes which could enable desperate politicians to hijack the electoral process.
- Non-interference in electoral matters: The government in power should not meddle into the operations of the electoral commission before, during and after elections.
- Education of the electorates: The agency in charge of orientation should do its best to organize programmes that will educate and enlighten the electorates concerning what is expected of them before, during and after the elections
- Adequate security: Security agents should be stationed at every polling booth to protect the electoral officers and materials. They must not be partisan in their operation.
- Re-orientation of politicians: Politicians should be made accountable for any of their activities. In essence, they must be educated concerning their attitude to the electoral process. They should be orientated about their love for their country.
- Impartiality of the judiciary: The judiciary is often described as the hope of the masses. Therefore, it is important this body to be steadfast in its operation. There should be no sacred cow when judgment is given.
Mention four solutions to electoral malpractices.
GENERAL EVALUATION/ REVISION QUESTIONS
- Mention three electoral malpractices.
- State three consequences of electoral malpractices.
- Mention four solutions to electoral malpractices.
- State four importance of discipline in a society.
- Mention four features of discipline.
Fundamentals of Civic Education for Basic 8 by Sola Akinyemi, pgs 133-141
- A situation where children below voting are made to vote is called____ voting. A. void B. underage C. unconstitutional D. chaotic
- Election malpractice is caused by the following except_____. A. poverty B. crave for power C. bribery and corruption D. strong passion to serve the nation
- Consequences of electoral malpractice include the following except_____. A. riots and chaos B. bad image C. good leadership D. loss of interest in voting
- When a person is called a “sacred cow” in life, it usually means that the person is said to be___. A. under the law B. above the law C. dangerous D. loved
- Which of these is not a cause of electoral malpractice in Nigeria? A. crave for power
- desire to make Nigeria great C. lack of political education D. poverty
- Define electoral malpractices.
- Mention three solutions to electoral malpractices.