Civic Education Significantly Associated with Turnout in General Elections in Morogoro Urban Constituency, Tanzania

Mwinyi Omary Mwinyi, Kim Abel Kayunze


Elections in Tanzania, like in any other country in the world, has three main functions: first is to create a sentiment of popular consent and participation in public affairs; second is to provide for orderly succession in government by peaceful transfer of authority to new rulers when the time comes for the old rulers to go through elections and third is to elect representatives of the people. However, there is a great proportion of registered voters who do not vote in the elections. This will have negative impact on consolidating democracy and expanding collective decision making through representation, if not taken care of. The underlying causes for this problem are not yet clear. Therefore, the research from which this paper has emanated was conducted in Morogoro urban constituency to analyse the determinants of voting in general elections in Tanzania. Using an index scale, it was found that the overall respondents’ knowledge about elections was low (23 out of 50 points); hence voters’ participation in 2010 general elections was low. Furthermore, the results show that more than one-fifth (22.6%) of all the respondents had spent fifteen minutes to reach the polling stations. Using a chi-square test, the research findings revealed that the relationship between individuals’ levels of civic education and their participation in voting was significant (?2 = 8.648, p = 0.003), which means that those with higher education participated more than those with lower education. It is recommended that such education should be increased through various media in order to increase citizens' participation in voting.

Key words:Civic Education, Turnout, Election

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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