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Beyond the ballot: Understanding voters’ perception on electoral reforms and mass media influence in Nigeria

Patrick Nkemdilim Ijeh, Mavis Okeoghene Onojeghwo, Joshua Aghogho Erubami

Article ID: 2283
Vol 9, Issue 6, 2024, Article identifier:

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Elections are critical aspects of functional democracy and their perceived credibility ultimately affects the extent of public participation in political processes. As an underlying psychological process, perception influences how individuals arrange, interpret, and derive meanings from the information they encounter. This study examines electorates’ perceptions of electoral reforms as a prerequisite for credible elections in Nigeria and the perceived roles of the mass media in this regard. The study adopts the survey research method to sample the views of 384 registered voters in the 2023 Nigerian general elections using the multistage sampling technique. The collected data were analysed using the descriptive statistics of mean and standard deviation. Findings show that the respondents are very much aware of previous efforts aimed at electoral reforms in Nigeria, and they perceive such reforms as prerequisites for credible elections because they sanitise election-related activities and ensure that election results reflect electorates’ desires. Similarly, the respondents also perceive the mass media as key players in electoral reform efforts because they arouse citizens’ political consciousness on the need for electoral reforms by creating awareness of the defects in existing electoral processes and educating the masses on the need for adequate political involvement. The study recommends, among others, that Nigeria should sustain genuine electoral reforms until the ideal electoral system evolves, and Nigerians should continue to participate in all electoral processes as politics is too important to be left to politicians alone.


electoral reforms, media agenda, public perception, public policies, political agenda setting

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