Election rigging and it’s effect- Election is the process whereby a group of people elect their leader through voting.
What is Election Rigging?
Election rigging is the act of manipulating election processes. It involves disruption of election processes by thugs , snatching of ballot boxes, changing of result sheets, rewriting and manipulation of result sheets. Buying of voters cards and votes are forms of election rigging also. Some politicians engages in these acts. The go to vulnerable voters and give them money in exchange for their votes. People compile to this menace to the detriment of their future knowingly or unknowingly. The effect in the society is such that may linger to generations if not checked. The implications of this is been suffered mostly by the poor masses, because in a weak economy, the rich can navigate their ways around but not so with ordinarily people.
Politicians engages youths to carry out this menace. They gives them arms and ammunitions. They give them money to part take in this deadly act. Confrontation from opposition parties during this act can cause election rigging bloody. In a country like Nigeria, many lives have been lost through this election rigging.
Voting these days can be through electronic votes or manual votes.
This voting method makes use of card readers. Results are transmitted almost immediately as the votes comes in. It makes use of finger printing machines in some cases, a voter is expected to thumb print to be able to have full access to the platform , in order to vote for a candidate of his or her choice. A central system or server gathers the result from various systems in different locations automatically and merge them to get the final result. One of the advantages of this method is that the voter must not be present at a designated center he can vote from anywhere. This system is considered as the best method. This is because there is little or no interference of votes by any party. No hijacking of ballot boxes.
Here is the use of paper and pens, the voters touches ink with his or her thumb and thumbprint for a candidate of their choice. This method involves physical voting, that is the voter must be present at the center allocated for his or her ward with their voters cards. At the end of the voting exercise, the votes are counted before voters and party agents present. The sheet used to collate results are signed and handed over for declaration of winners. This is a very old method, it encourages rigging at all stage. Sometimes thugs forge results ahead of the election. They would make their ways in and replace the authentic results with the forged results. In some places like Nigeria, elections workers are been held at gun points to rewrite results or manipulate some figures. Some officers will collect bribes to carry out these deadly assignments.
The above systems are practiced well in Nigeria. Though the manual system is still dominating at present.
Effects of Election Rigging
1. It gives rise to wrong choice of leadership
One of the effects of election rigging is that it goes against people’s choice. Candidate who emerges from a rigged election can be seen as a choice imposed on the people.
2. It gives room to bad leadership.
A good leader will certainly not emerge from rigging
This is because no good leader will give bribe to the masses for votes. Once you’re good, people will definitely vote for you. You don’t need to impose or force yourself on them. No need to do anything else to appease them during election. It is only a corrupt leader that buys votes or pay thugs to disrupt the peaceful conduct of an election.
3. Destruction of lives and properties
Unfortunately the effects of election rigging are been suffered most by the poor masses. From destruction of properties to loss of lives.
At times in voting centers, people are been killed by stray bullets of thugs and security agents. Thugs would shoot guns to scare the masses away as to snatch the ballot boxes and at times the gun shoots might be retaliated by the security agents who are attached to such units. Innocent voters will start running up and down. Dozens are killed by stray bullets, some will be get life time injury from the process and the few lucky ones will make it out alive. It is disheartening.
Also properties are not left out in these destruction. Cars and motorcycles of voters are been set ablaze. Buildings and electoral materials are been destroyed. In whatever way you look at it, election rigging is disastrous not only to mankind but to his immediate environment.
4. Lack of trust on electoral bodies
Election rigging will cause lack of trust on the electoral bodies. People won’t trust the bodies again. And this is dangerous, as several people might not want to vote again, knowing that their votes doesn’t count. This is not helpful in a democratic settings.
5. Economic meltdown
Most leaders that are elected through rigging will end up driving the economy to nowhere. They came with no idea and as such will have nothing to offer.
In most cases, they embezzled public funds will be used to offset the bills the accumulated during their campaigns. All these with tell on the economy of any nation that got their leaders through rigging.
6. Increase in bribery.
In what ever way you look at it, rigging cannot exist without giving and collecting of bribes. Bribery is a corrupt practice to any given society. It brings set back to government. This is because nobody will be willing to do anything right. People will be doing things with expectations.
Election rigging is anti democratic and as such should be discouraged at all levels of election.
In other to stop this evil that has eaten deep in our society, there is need for sensitization of the youths, letting them know the dangers such as lost of lives, destruction of properties, our politician needs to realize that there is no need forcing themselves on the masses.
Just like a former president of Nigeria Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan said ” My political ambition does not worth the blood of any Nigerian”. World leaders need this mindset, everyone lives matters. Youths don’t need to die for you to rise. Stop indulging them to do dirty jobs for you.
Youths needs to value and appreciate their lives and not to allow politicians to use them for their selfish interest.
The electoral bodies should try in making sure that their ends are tight. The shouldn’t give room for manipulation. Their officers should be trained and retrained on the dangers of election rigging to the society.