Refrain from declaration of election results – EC cautions politicians
Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, has warned the public against the declaration of the 2020 elections ahead of the Commission.
There are tendencies for political parties and other entities to call the elections but the EC says it is unlawful.
Ghana is heading to the polls on Monday, December 7, to elects a president and 275 parliamentarians for the next four-year tenure.
At the final press encounter before the elections, Mrs Mensa said on Sunday, December 6, that according to the country’s laws, “the Electoral Commission is the only body/ institution cloaked with the power and authority to declare the Presidential and Parliamentary results. We, therefore, caution all stakeholders, i.e. the Political Parties and the Media to desist from declaring the results”.
The EC has indicated its intention to declare the final certified results within 24 hours after elections and Mrs Mensa maintains they “will do so, God being our helper”.
She has therefore called on “stakeholders to remain patient and leave the EC to perform its functions”.
Mrs Mensa also assured the public that the final outcome of the polls would be nothing but the will of the electorate.
“As the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, I pledge on behalf of the entire Commission that we will remain true to our motto and operate with fairness and integrity and promote transparency till the very end,” she assured.
Procurement of Logistics
The Commission said it has procured a wide variety of election materials for the 2020 Election.
These include ballot boxes, thumbprint pads, stationery, identifications jackets, polling station booths, rechargeable lamps, indelible ink, educational posters, and seals, among others.
The EC said they have distributed these items to all thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and twenty-two (38,622) polling stations across the country.
“For the first time in our history, we printed and distributed all ballot papers for the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections some two and a half weeks before the election,” she highlighted.
The EC said it has put in place stringent safety protocols and procured the necessary items to ensure the safety and security of all stakeholders at polling centres.
“We were able to test our safety protocols during the 38-day registration exercise. This will be replicated on Election Day. Interestingly, we saw a rapid decline in the Covid-19 cases, during and after the registration exercise,” she noted.
The has made provisions for projectors and screens in each of the 275 collation centres and 16 regional collation centres, on which results would be displayed.
This is to prevent the gathering of persons around laptops to view the collated results, thereby minimising crowding, and curbing the spread of the virus.
“We are confident that the training afforded to our 38,662 plus COVID 19 Ambassadors will result in an efficient implementation of our safety protocols nationwide,” the EC noted.
Recruitment and Training of Staff
The EC said it provided a three-week rigorous training programme on all aspects of the election cycle to some 240,000 field officials.
Additionally, all field officials have signed a binding and enforceable code of conduct to abide by the guidelines and directives of the Commission.
Biometric Verification Equipment
The Commission said it has procured 74,800 brand new biometric verification devices to enhance the integrity and credibility of the polls.
The EC is confident that the enhanced features of the devices will speed up the verification process and go a long way to ensure that only persons whose biometric details are captured in their system are allowed to vote on the Election Day.
The device has a record of both fingerprints as well as the facial features of each unique individual.
As a result, in the event where an individual has lost the use of his/her fingers, the facial recognition feature will be employed to identify the voter.
2020 Voters Register
The register has a total no of 17,027,971 voters.
The EC has entreated voters who have not checked their details to do so as it comes at no cost to the voter.
Voters may visit the Commission Website Register – at https://registers.ec.gov.gh and enter their 10-digit Voter ID card number on the website application to confirm their details.
The second option available for checking a person’s details is by using the USSD code – *711*2020#.
To access their details, registered voters need to dial *711*2020# on any phone and network, enter their Voter ID card number and the Polling Station Code where they registered.
This information is available on the voter’s voter card. A valid voter will get a response on their phone.
The third option is to use an android phone application whose link details are on our website. In all three cases, the voter will receive confirmation of their name on the register as well as their Date of Birth and their Polling Station Code & Name.
Number of Polling Stations for Election 2020
For the 2020 elections, the Commission has created 38,622 polling stations across the country.
This is some 10,000 polling stations more than the 2016 polling stations.
The threshold set for the polling stations 749 voters per polling station.
It is important to note however that more than 70% of the polling stations have 500 voters or less.
A toll-free number has been set aside at a call centre to receive complaints and feedback on Election Day.
The number is 0800-100-100. Voters will not be charged for making calls to this number. The call centre will be open from 6 am – 6 pm on Election Day and callers may use any network to contact the Commission.
Misplaced Voter ID Cards
The EC said any citizen who has misplaced his or her Voters’ ID card, can still vote as their details are on the biometric verification devices.
Provision of Masks in Polling Stations in Rural Areas
In response to concerns relating to disenfranchising citizens who visit the polling stations without masks, the Commission is expected to provide masks in polling stations in rural.