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COVID-19 and Ghana’s 2020 Elections

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Ghana was amongst the countries that held its national elections some months after its first cases of COVID-19 were officially announced. This meant that, by the time the polls took place on 7 December 2020, decision-makers understood the nature of the virus, how it was transmitted, and the measures needed to mitigate the risk. However, compiling a new voters’ register and conducting the polls during a pandemic was still fraught with risk. How the country negotiated that risk, and the success with which it did so, is the primary focus of what follows. We also raise the larger question of whether the pandemic had any demonstrable impact on participation rates and electoral outcomes.

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