4 December 2012

Ghana: Polls Close in Special (Early) Voting Exercise

Photo: Ghana Decides
Voter registration.

A general calm with the exception of long lines and chaos in some polling centres characterized todays early voting exercise by the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana across the country. The election was for electoral officials and security personnel who would be deployed to supervise the national elections on Friday December 7, 2012.

According to AEP Brong Ahafo regional reporter, Amma Twumasiwaah, there was a calm atmosphere at the various centers in the region where the special voting took place. However, she said there were glitches in certain areas including Asunafo North Constituency where some Police and Fire Service personnel had their names omitted from the register. She reports of similar incidents in Sampa in the Jaman South District.

Some security persons in the region accused the EC of sabotaging them since they complied with all the instructions given them by the EC under the special voting exercise, they promised to pay the government back if they do not get the chance to vote eventually.

In an interaction with the EC officer in Goaso, Mr. Christian Boafo, he attributed the omissions to some of the officers not submitting their names to the EC early. He also said most of them registered in their hometowns and other constituencies and did not go through the process of transferring their votes.

Mr. Boafo assured those who could not cast their ballots today not to worry as they will not be disenfranchised- once their names are in the original register they will be allowed to vote on Friday December 7 at the constituencies they registered.

In the Northern Regional capital Tamale, our reporter Papa Takyi says the early voting exercise took place in all the 31 polling stations across 31 constituencies in the Northern Region. He reports the exercise was generally peaceful and orderly at all the polling stations and all election materials including the verification machine functioned well.

However, few of the voters could not exercise their franchise because their identity card numbers were not coded or recorded against their names on the voters' list.

At Kalpohin Senior High School (KALISCO) in Tamale where the exercise took place for the Tamale North Constituency, 206 people cast their ballots out of the total of 260 names on the register.

Mr George Mumuni Yidana, Presiding Officer at KALISCO said 12 people could not find their names on the voters list and were not allowed to vote. At Dabokpa Polling Station also in Tamale where the exercise took place for the Tamale South Constituency, 255 people exercised their franchise out of the expected number of 373 voters.

Mr Zakaria Mohammed Muniru, Presiding Officer at the station said two people could not find their names on the voters list and were not allowed to vote.

"The voting has ended. We didn't experience any difficulty. It has been a peaceful excercise."

Total number of people expected to cast their ballot was 780. Out of this, 646 voted for Presidential and 639 voted for Parliamentary, Emmanuel Kwesi Acquah, Presiding Officer for Osu Police Station 'A' told Pascal Kudiabor who reported from Greater Accra region.

"We observed that some officials did not find their names in the register but this is due to the fact that, they did not submit their names to cast their vote today, they thought it was automatic because they are security personnel" he said.

In the Ketu South constituency in the Volta Region, our reporter Agnes Tamakloe says only police personnel had their names in the register. Some immigration officials said they could not vote at the Denu Police Station because their names were missing from the register.

Some of the officers indicated that they went on peacekeeping and therefore could not take part in the major biometric registration process. According them, the EC must make special transport arrangement for them to enable them get to their assigned stations to discharge their duties on Friday.

The EC through its principal communications officer gave the assurance to the officers who could not vote today to come back and join the main voting process on Friday.

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