Programs Coordinator, Center for Democratic Development, Ghana
media relations, voter registration, voter fraud, voter education, vote counting, training, recruitment, polling supplies, monitoring, electronic voting, election violence, election security, election schedules, election management body, boundary delimitation, parallel vote tabulation, proportional representation, first past the post
Thu Aug 14 2008
John Larvie gives a detailed account of the electoral process in Ghana and the relevant players at each level. He starts by explaining the timing and sequencing of elections in Ghana, including the length of the electoral process and the decisions involved in finalizing its schedule. The legal framework of the electoral system in Ghana is also addressed, focusing on regulations that govern eligibility, registration, voting procedures, and the voting system used. He then moves on to explain how the election management body, the Electoral Commission of Ghana, was established with specific reference to efforts to maintain its transparency, and how its responsibilities, budget, and appointments are administered. He offers further insights into the role the Electoral Commission plays in regulating the political parties, and its training, recruitment, delimitation, evaluation and poll worker protection procedures. Larvie also gives details on Ghana’s voter education programs and the use of election monitors and their monitoring methods. Throughout the interview he offers advice and insights into addressing challenges that arise in elections, such as funding issues, partisan appointments, and ballot design to prevent vote fraud. Finally he explains the need to use the media effectively.
At the time of this interview, John Larvie was working at the Center for Democratic Development in Accra, Ghana. His work since 1987 involved the management of decentralization, democracy and governance at the district and national level in Ghana, with a specialty in communications and public relations. He also trained election observers and poll workers, and worked in civic and voter education initiatives. Previously he held various posts in communications and public relations with the Electoral Commission of Ghana, district assemblymen, and the International Foundation of Electoral Systems. In recognition of his role in governance and democracy work, in 1997 he was made an honorary member of the Board of Elections in Washington, D.C.