Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) says all is set for the country to go to the polls on Wednesday, December 7, 2016.
At a pre-election press conference in an Accra Tuesday, Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei outlined some rules and measures rolled out by the electoral body to ensure a free, fair and credible elections.
“With these numerous integrity mechanisms we believe that our electoral system is secure, we believe it is credible and we believe that it is totally transparent,” she said.
Mrs. Osei said the Commission has also put in place measures to prevent a high incidence of rejected ballots.
Adding that,: “One of the main issues that has been of concern is the issue of rejected ballots. This year, we’ve taken a few steps to minimise the incidence of rejected ballots.”
Aside the extensive education on the voting process, Mrs Osei noted that two distinct ink colours will be used to differentiate the indelible ink and that of the thumb pad ink.
“The colour of the indelible ink that is used to mark a voter’s finger will be different from the ink on the thumb print pad. This is to help reduce the confusion caused by finger stains from the indelible ink staining the ballot paper resulting in the rejection of the ballot. So this year, there are two distinct colours and so if it is a stain from the indelible ink it is clear to all that this is a stain from the indelible ink and it does not lead to a rejection of the ballot,” she said.
“We have also improved the design of the ballot paper. The boxes are larger and the black lines in between the candidate’s pictures are thicker. This will minimise the incidence of thumb prints which stray from one box into another, causing a rejection of the ballot.”
Below are some of the ground rules and measures set by the EC
1. Sale of alcohol within 500 meters of the polling station is prohibited
2. Between 5pm on Wednesday and 6am on December 8, the use of motor bikes is prohibited. Motorbikes are not permitted within 400 meters of a polling station on election day
3. The name-reference table is the first table should go to on Election Day
4, The verification desk is the second table, where the voters’ biometric barcode will be scanned
5. If the BVD fails to capture one finger, try other fingers – if there is a match there’ll be a green light or manual verification will be done if the BVD fails to verify all 10 fingers
6. At the first ballot table, a ballot paper will be detached from the booklet; check that it has been stamped
7 When you drop the presidential ballot in the box, proceed to the next ballot table for the parliamentary ballot
8. When you finish voting, please go home and return at 5pm to observe counting and declaration
9. Everyone must see that it is a single ballot paper that is being given to a voter
10. You can only enter the voting screen with the ballots – no pen, food or drinks
11. All electoral officials will wear gloves before collation to prevent deliberate spoiling of ballots
12. Results from polling station will be captured into an electronic system
13. Polling station results will be scanned and electronically transmitted to the national collation centre
14. Each region will have a different colour for validation stamp to prevent any possible importation of fake ballots into the process
15. No political party agent is allowed to inspect the voter’s ID card of voters in the queue