Special Voting To Continue Tommorrow

    /    Dec 3, 2016   /     NewsBreak  /    Comments are closed  /    404 Views
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The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced the extension of the Special Voting exercise reserved for security agents, EC staff and media practitioners who will be on duty on Election Day – December 7.

The extension is being done as a result of the widespread confusion that marred the exercise on Thursday, leaving many eligible voters disenfranchised.

It was a baptism of fire for the new EC boss, Charlotte Osei, as the process was a complete mess, leading to the holding of an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to find a way out of the huge number of voters whose names were missing from the electoral roll.

There were widespread reported cases of stranded voters at many polling stations nationwide because they could not locate their names in the specially prepared register and had to be turned away in disappointment.

The commission’s Director of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzapkasu, issued a statement yesterday confirming that all the stakeholders in the election had agreed that a mop-up exercise should be done for the special voters tomorrow.

“The Electoral Commission wishes to announce that following a meeting with the top hierarchy of the Ghana Police Service and an emergency meeting of the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) on Wednesday, December 1, 2016, it has been agreed that in view of the challenges encountered during the Special Voting on December 1, 2016, the Special Voting should be continued on Sunday, December 4, 2016,” the statement said.

The commission said, “It was established that in numerous cases, the persons affected were those who could not take advantage of the earlier transfer window to transfer their votes to the constituency where they wished to vote. This was the reason why such persons were assigned by the commission to constituencies where they registered to vote and not where they will be assigned to work on Election Day or where they are currently deployed.”

According to Mr. Dzapkasu, “Some security agencies did not submit any list of officers at all to take part in the Special Voting. Consequently, there was no way such officers could vote in the Special Voting,” adding, “Persons who transferred their votes and whose names appeared on the Special Voters’ list but who could not vote on December 1, 2016 should be allowed to vote on Sunday, December 4, 2016.”

Mr Dzakpasu also said, “Persons who did not transfer their votes, but whose names appeared on the Special Voters’ list, can only vote in the constituency where they are registered. It is important to note that the opportunity to participate in the Special Voting is not an opportunity to transfer one’s vote.

“Voters whose names are included in either the earlier list or the updated one provided to the political parties should be allowed to vote. It must be noted that the number of special voters on both lists are the same, except that the commission updated the earlier list by properly designating the constituencies to ensure that special voters vote only in constituencies where they are registered in line with the law.”

The EC man explained, “The EC would provide all political parties with a list of voters who voted on December 1, 2016. This is to enable them track those who are eligible to vote on December 4. Persons whose names are not on the Special Voters’ list would not be allowed to take part in Special Voting. The commission, therefore, urges the hierarchy of the security agencies to deploy such affected persons to work on Election Day, in areas close to the polling stations where they are registered, to enable them to vote on December 7, 2016. Such persons would be given priority at the polls to vote early.”

The EC also indicated, “All voters whose names are included in the Special Voters’ list are legally included on the Absent Voters’ list at their original polling stations. Therefore, their barcodes would be deactivated and they would be unable to vote on December 7, 2016. In order to guarantee the integrity of the ballots already cast on December 1, 2016, the commission will grant the agents of the political parties and the respective Returning Officers, access to the Biometric Verification Devices in the Police Armory on Friday, December 2, 2016 to reconfirm the number of persons who actually voted on December 1, 2016 before the device counter automatically resets itself to zero on Saturday, December 3, 2016.”

“The commission would provide new ballot boxes for the Special Voting on Sunday, December 4, 2016 and political parties would provide their seals for the additional ballot boxes. Political party representatives would be allowed access to inspect the ballot boxes in the Police Armory during the period between December 2 and December 7, 2016 when the ballots of the Special Voting exercise are counted and declared.”

Daily Guide

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