…as 109,557 special voters cast ballot today
With barely seven days to the general election, the Electoral Commission (EC) has stressed its readiness to execute its mandate as all the necessary arrangements have been made to ensure a peaceful, credible and transparent election come December 7, 2020.
Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Commission, speaking at a press conference in Accra, noted that the EC’s readiness for the 2020 election would be exhibited in today’s special voting as all electoral and COVID-19 materials have been sent to the 275 constituencies across the country for the exercise.
She said the EC is expecting a near 100 percent turnout at all the polling stations for the special voting across the country as materials have been distributed in sufficient quantities
She stated that the Biometric Verification Devices (BVD) have been prepared and deployed to all polling stations.
She assured that enough officers have been recruited and trained to supervise the exercise.
“We expect a near 100 percent turnout and are confident that the outcome will be peaceful, credible, transparent and orderly: God being our helper,” Mrs. Mensa said, adding that the 109,557 persons on the special voters’ register, from the security agencies, the media and staff of the Electoral Commission who will work on election day constitute the highest number ever to take part in the exercise since the beginning of the 4th Republic.
She further urged all persons who submitted their names for special voting to check out their names on the EC website or use a USSD code *711*2020# to verify their names on the list.
“I am pleased to note that the list of special voting has been compiled. The list has been published on the website of the commission. Additionally, the commission has made it possible for persons on the special voting list to check their details using the code. We encourage all who applied to take time to check their details. This year the commission has provided the special voting list to representatives of institutions who applied to vote during the special voting.”
Exempted names from Special Voting
Mrs. Mensa intimated that, even though the commission was able to rope in some persons after the published deadline for entry, some others were not able to make it because it was too late to add their data.
“It is also important to mention that the commission received a number of names well after deadline. While some were considered, others came a little too late after the database had been frozen. Once the database is frozen no changes transfers can be made. All lists received after the data freezes could not be processed.”
She added that as a result not all applicants including security persons who wished to be on the special voting list would be on. She further entreated the public to disregard rumours on social media that the EC has prevented security agencies from registering. “This is not true; every officer who applied on time, and provided the correct ID card number was duly registered,” Mrs Mensa said.
Explaining the exemption of some journalists, she said: “unfortunately, we rather had an issue with our media partners who have collaborated with us all this while. There were some discrepancies regarding the lists submitted by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA). The soft copy of the list was different from the hard copy which contained more applicants. Unfortunately, this was not made known to the Electoral Commission’s team.
As such only the names in the soft copy were reflected in the Special Voting list. The Commission regrets this and wishes to assure the GJA and the National Media Commission (NMC) and journalists in general of our support to their efforts. To mitigate this, the commission has instructed its field officials to give preferential treatment to media personnel who possess the accreditation cards of the Electoral Commission.”
General Election materials distribution
The EC has said that, so far it has achieved 95 percent progress with the distribution of electoral materials nationwide ahead of the December 7 polls. She indicated that presidential ballot papers have been distributed nationwide while the parliamentary ballot papers are still being distributed. She also noted that over 38,000 polling stations will be used by the Commission for the 2020 polls.
Final Voters Register
The final voters register has a total of 17,027,641 registrants who are eligible to vote come December 7, 2020. Of the total number of registered voters, females constitute 8,810,283 representing 51.74 percent of the total register while males amounted to 8,217,358, representing 48.26 percent of the total register. Greater Accra has the highest number of female and male registrants. The region with the lowest number of female and male registrants is North East Region.