The Youth Bridge Foundation (YBF) with support from the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) has launched the First Time Voters Campaign; a non-partisan initiative to build informed Youth-First Time Voters for effective and responsible participation in Ghana’s democratic processes and to complement the Electoral Commission of Ghana’s Voter Education programs.
Youth aged 18-21 years, are some of the most important Ghanaians to show up on Election Day because they represent the newest voices making their wishes to the government known. In 2016, voters aged 18-20 years represented 21% of the total voter population, and the story will not be different in 2020 in a youthful country like Ghana.
Misinformation on the electoral processes ahead of elections presents a formidable threat to democracy. First Time Voters’ ignorance of processes, lack of factual knowledge and responsible mentorship make them easy victims of partisan groups scattering false information and instigating violence to harm political opponents or even disturb the electoral process as a whole creating the tendency to cause instability and social unrest. Similarly, issues and education for Young persons with disabilities and their participation in electoral processes doesn’t usually receive much needed attention leading to their disenfranchisement.
We believe that well-informed Youth First Time Voters is an important bridge to Youth knowledge gaps and promotion of transparency which will translate in objective electoral decisions before, during and after General Elections come December 2020. It will also ensure that Youth First Tome Voters are able to build synergies with their leaders in Political offices learning from their rich experience and knowledge.
YBF runs a dedicated portal www.youthvote.youthbridgefoundation.org to that effect. We entreat all First Time Voters and interested stakeholders to visit the site for credible election information or follow Youth Bridge Foundation on all social media platforms for updates on the campaign.