Date of Conferral
Public Policy and Administration
There is a widespread public perception of corruption in Liberia's election process, yet there is little documentation on the characteristics of voters and their perceptions of electoral corruption. The purpose of this correlational study was to explore the relationship between gender, ethnicity, physical location, and perceptions about political activity during the 2005 national election. Roderick Chisolm's conceptualization of the internalist view of justification served as the theoretical construct. Data were acquired from the Afrobarometer survey (n = 1,200), which used a representative cross-sectional sample design, and were subjected to cross-tabulation analysis, a chi-square test, and a correlation analysis. The results of the analysis indicated that elections were perceived as unfair and that gender was an important predictor of perception. The analysis revealed that 26.8% of women perceived the National Election Commission as untrustworthy and 79.0% reported that they did not feel completely free to choose their preferred candidate. A chi-square test of association confirmed that among males, the belief that elections are free and fair was statistically significant (p = .002), though not for females (p = .151). Gender was moderately correlated (r = .088) with corruption of government officials. It was also found that the theoretical construct may explain the behavior of elected officials, but was not predictive of voter engagement. Recommendations to remedy this problem include widespread election reform that focuses on combating negative perceptions of voters, particularly among women, and correcting technical irregularities in Liberia's electoral processes.