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ISSN: 2637-6679

Research and Reviews on Healthcare: Open Access Journal

Research Article(ISSN: 2637-6679)

Enhancing Older People’s Participation in the Electoral Process in Liberia

Volume 4 - Issue 2

Nina M Silverstein1* and Sam Togba Slewion2

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    • 1Social Work Department, United Methodist University, Liberia
    • 2Department of Gerontology, University of Massachusetts, USA

    *Corresponding author: Nina M Silverstein, Social Work Department, United Methodist University, Liberia

Received: October 18, 2019;   Published: October 31, 2019

DOI: 10.32474/RRHOAJ.2019.04.000181

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Abstract

Social policy development in Liberia falls short in representing the voices of the country’s 180,000 people aged 65 or over in determining policies aimed at enhancing the quality of life of its older citizens. This subtle exclusion of older people appears in the context of the lack of legislation and a national social protection policy for older people’s rights, including housing, health care and transportation. Many older Liberians do not register to vote and of those who register, they may not actually cast their ballots. This pilot research sought to explore the voting trend of older people in Liberia’s electoral process with the goal of providing insights toward understanding the barriers that are undermining the participation of older people.

Data were reviewed from previous elections, specifically voter registration rolls for 2005, 2011, 2014 and 2017, and of actual voters in the 2005, 2011 and 2017 presidential and general elections. In addition, five focus groups and a survey involving almost 5,000 older people, including women and men in three counties, Montserrado, Grand Bassa and Margibi Counties was conducted. The survey response rate was 40% (2000). Preliminary findings suggest that the empowerment of older people in Liberia through increased participation in the electoral process will lead to not only improving the democratic space for everyone, including older people, but also the capacities of relevant actors to effectively serve the older adult community and address the critical concerns of that population.

Keywords: Voter participation; older adults; barriers; Liberia

Abstract| Introduction| Conceptual Framework| Methods| Sample Description| Results| Barriers and Challenges Revealed| Discussion| Limitations| Recommendations| Conclusion| Acknowledgment| Declaration of Interest Statement| Appendix A. Focus Group Questions| References|

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