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Reconciliation and validation will expose any stuffed ballot box – EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has indicated that it has robust systems that can track to flag any illegal ballot papers stuffed during the December 7 elections.

Director of Electoral Services for the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe explained that there are three processes namely reconciliation, machine verification and counterfoil verification which would detect any invalid ballots.

The processes would have to be undertaken and if officials are satisfied before the counting of ballots would be undertaken.

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Parliamentary Candidate for the Asawase constituency, Muntaka Mubarak, says the party will demand the audit of ballot papers should polling stations record over voting in his constituency.

He was reacting to concerns by Minority Chief Whip, Muntaka Mubarak Mohammed after the arrest of a man who allegedly attempted to stuff a ballot box with already thumb printed papers.

The MP for Asawase alleged that the suspect had the ballot papers marked for his opponent and the EC’s official stamp.

Dr Quaicoe said the EC was yet to receive official reports.  However, “if he [the culprit] had succeeded in putting them [ballot papers] in [the box], then what we would have done is reconciliation and auditing, and we could have fished out the legal ones [ballots] using the serial numbers because every polling station has unique serious number range so if you bring any paper outside that serial number range, it would be found out”.

Explaining further, Dr Quarcoe noted that immediately voting was over, the biometric machine will indicate the number of people who have voted. The officials would then check the counterfoils from which the ballot papers were taken to confirm the records on the biometric device.

When the ballot box is emptied, the officials will turn the ballot papers upside down and cross-check whether the papers had been validated and then the number involved of legitimate paper.

He insisted that the “three processes must tally”.

The counting process would then proceed only after the officials are satisfied with the processes.

There are 12 presidential aspirants with more than 1000 parliamentary candidates.

The twelve include the flagbearer of the NPP – Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, Presidential Candidate of the NDC – John Dramani Mahama, Brigitte Akosua Dzogbenuku – flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Hassan Ayariga of the All People’s Congress (APC), Ivor Kobina Greenstreet of the Convention People’s Party  (CPP), David Asibi Ayindenaba Apasera of the People’s National Convention (PNC), among others.

Five of the 17 nominees who submitted their nomination forms with the hope of contesting in the polls were disqualified by the EC.

The five included two independent presidential nominees – Kofi Koranteng and Marricke Kofi Gane, and three political party-sponsored nominees; Akwasi Addae Odike of the United Progressive Party (UPP), Kwasi Busumbru of the People’s Action Party (PAP), and Nana Agyenim Boateng of the United Front Party (UFP).

A total of 17,027,971 voters are expected to cast their ballot in 38,622 polling stations across the 16 regions of the country.

 

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