The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has encouraged first time voters to actively participate in the December 7 General Election.
They must not sell their votes and or be influenced by the material things handed to them by candidates in exercising their franchise but they should make a choice that would further Ghana.
Speaking at a Civic Voter Engagement forum to sensitise first time voters at Assin Nsuaem Kyekyewere in the Assin South District ahead of the 2016 General Election, Mr George Briku, the Assin South District Director of the NCCE, said voting was the civic responsibility for every citizen.
The Civic engagement, supported by the European Union (EU), formed part of activities by the NCCE to intensify voter education among the registered voters, especially first time voters It is also aimed at deepening the interest of the electorate and encouraging high voter turnout in the elections.
The incidences of spoilt ballots and rejected ballots have been very predominant since 1992.
In 1992, rejected ballots accounted for 3.6 per cent of the total valid votes cast as against 1.53 per cent in 1996. The first round of the 2000 Elections also saw rejected ballots accounting for 1.8 per cent of the total votes cast, while in 2004, it constituted 2.2 per cent of the total valid votes cast.
In 2008, rejected ballots went up, recording an overall 2.4 per cent of the valid votes cast while in the 2012 elections, the number of rejected ballots stood at 2.3 per cent. Mr Briku explained that the decision to engage first time voters was, therefore, necessitated by the fact that rejected and spoilt ballots continued to be on the increase.
He took first time voters through the various steps of voting and advised them to vote early and also leave the polling centres after voting and return later to observe the counting if they wished.
He also urged them not to wear any political party’s paraphernalia to the voting centres to ensure peace. Mr Briku asked political parties to complement the efforts of the NCCE by educating its followers on how to vote properly saying that, voter education was a collective responsibility.