Low turnout among eligible voters and general lack of interest in the political process has been identified as a great challenge to democracy and good governance in the country.
The Chairman, Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LAISEC, Hon. Justice Ayotunde Phillips (rtd.) made this assertion at a press briefing held today at the Commission’s Headquarters in Lagos, describing the growth pattern of voter apathy in the country as worrisome.
According to her, analysis of the last general election indicated that voters who exercised their civic responsibility across the Federation were less than 20 % of the total registered voters in the country.
She averred that electing good leaders is a total obligation that every eligible voter must hold dearly, saying “People often boycott the election on the premise that their votes would not count or their participation would not affect the outcome. But then, this is not the right attitude. If everyone thinks and acts along that line, then our democracy is doomed”.
Justice Philips cautioned that failure to participate in the electoral process could have grievous implications on the kind of leaders that we produce, noting that “People cannot continue to complain about having the wrong people in political offices when they do not actually partake in the process”.
While assuring that LAISEC is working hard to address the issue of voters’ apathy in the conduct of Local Government elections in the State, she revealed that the Commission would soon embark on aggressive voters’ education and sensitisation across the State.
The LAISEC Chairman equally advocated for electronic voting, noting that “Many countries have adopted e-voting. India is the largest democracy in the world and it has embraced e-voting. We should also begin to look in that direction”.