Turning 18 is a pretty big deal. It is the age when you are officially and legally treated as an adult. It means you can make a will, inherit property, get a legal permission to drive and apply for a passport.

But more importantly, turning 18 means you can vote for the very first time.

As Ghana prepares to go to the polls on December 7, a record number of young voters are standing up to be counted in the electoral process.

Savvy, engaged and critical, these young voters have become aware that every vote contributes towards the Ghana of the future, and their vote holds a piece to that future.

But how does it really feel to be voting for the first time, and what matters to them?

Four first-time voters share their thoughts.

Alexandra Aboagye-Adjei, 18

Student, University of Ghana.

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“This election really matters. It is important for us first time voters to vote because when we do, we’re getting involved in the development of our country and voicing our choices. I believe I will enjoy the voting experience. After seeing all the rules and regulations of the voting stations circulating the internet – “no discussing politics”, “be careful what you do with your phone” – I was beginning to get a little worried about doing something wrong. But I’ve been told it is actually an easy and relaxed process. This is a really important time in Ghana’s politics and it feels incredible to know that I will make an impact.”

 

Fiifi Anaman, 21

Sports Writer, Pulse Ghana

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“I believe voting is fundamentally important – politics affects us all every single day and by voting, our voices can be heard. It is the first election I’m eligible to vote in, so I’m very excited. There is no excuse not to go and vote, it takes a short time and will be so quick and simple. As a young person, it can be frustrating when we’re continually told how unconcerned we are, with our voices seemingly ignored, however I hope this will change as we get ready to vote. I have become more interested in politics, and engaged with issues facing this country more over the past six months due to the election.”

 

Rosebette Maame Fokou Yeboah, 20

Student, University of Ghana

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“Voting is important, people have fought and died for the ability to vote and it’s our duty, regardless of our political opinion. Without voting, how can things change? The atmosphere on leading up to the election has been electric. It is my first time but having conversations with other young people with different political sentiments have been good. The election has brought my interest in politics to a new level and I’m determined to be involved in political campaigning to help build a better future for Ghana.”

 

Delali Agbavor, 21

Diploma Graduate, University of Ghana

 

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“I’m very excited to be voting for the first time. In a democratic process, voting is the only way we can shape our country. For young people like myself, voting is one of the first few steps we can take to having our voices heard. We are fortunate enough to be able to be given the opportunity to pick a government we want, and this is why every single vote is crucial. We need strong voices that think of not just themselves, but for the country. Voting is how we mold and develop a society that our children and us will be proud to call home.”

 

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