General News of Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Source: CODGHA

Online Polls in Ghana are not credible - CODGHA


With the December 7 elections drawing near, CODGHA has been observing with very keen interest activities leading to the elections.

We find it very intriguing and disturbing the numerous online polls that are being conducted by certain media houses and online portals. Whilst we appreciate the need for one to conduct research as to which presidential candidate would ultimately emerge winner in the December 7 elections, one needs to be circumspect as to the methodology employed in speculating these results.

The methodology employed for the polls needs to be scientific, valid and yield consistency, thus it should produce similar results when another researcher uses it for a similar research. Also, a key principle of research is that some research ethics are adhered to in any form of a research worth its sort.

The current electronic polls being organised by certain media houses lack credibility and should be disregarded political parties and Ghanaians at large. Our assertion is based on the following reasons:

*1. **One can vote more than once by just clearing his or her browsing data when he or she is using Google chrome browser.*

*2. **There is no mechanism to determine whether a respondent is above 18 years and of sound mind.*

*3. **Ones’ nationality cannot be determined as the process does not require one to state his or her nationality or national ID number in such polls.*

*4. **Although some of these media houses pose the question: “if elections were held TODAY, whom would you vote for?” The duration is often elapsed as the poll runs for days. *

*5. ** Such polls do not capture the views of the majority of Ghanaians who may not either not have access to internet or may not be computer literate.*

*6. ** The sampling employed is purely accidental and does not take into consideration the diversity of the Ghanaian population.*

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· Instead of such media houses wasting their time on such polls, they should rather shift their attention to propagating peace messages that would rather calm the political tension in the run up to the December 7 election.

· Nevertheless, if these media houses are bent on conducting these polls, then they should include questions that would verify if one is a Ghanaian, 18 years and above, and is of sound mind. They should also elicit the socio-demographic characteristics of respondents and analyze such information so that the results of the polls could be placed in proper context.

· Security features that would prevent respondents from voting more than once should be incorporated into the system.

· The stated duration for the polls should be strictly adhered to.

To this end we entreat every Ghanaian to pray for a peaceful election: before, during, and after.


Williams Agyei (Executive Director) 0208428465

Dr. Ishmael Mensah (Director) 0204600601