7 December 2012

Ghana: Voting Delays in Some Polling Centres

Ghana has extended voting in its presidential election into a second day, officials said, after technical problems prevented thousands of people in ... ( Resource: Ghana Extends Voting After Technical Glitch )

There are reports of delayed voting in a number of centres across the country, in closely fought elections in the West African country of Ghana, which has entered its second hour. With some prospective voters queuing as early as midnight while others had placed symbols from last night to indicate that they were in the queue, a delay in voting does not amuse them.

Voting was supposed to begin at 7am and close at 5pm but not all the centres begun voting on time as was expected.

Africa Elections Project reporters say some voters are growing impatient where there are delays, as the queues are long and winding.

AEP reporter Jeorge Kingson says voting had not started as at 7.45am in all three polling stations in the Ayawaso constituency even though materials were ready but the EC staff were going about doing their own business. He also reports of the ballot boxes arranged in alphabetical order but their cards do not have any labels on them.

In Aboabo Islamic School, in the Asawasi Constituency, Ashanti Region, AEP reporter Abena Kissiwa says there are long queues and as at as 7.30am there were no electoral officers.

Maame Kissiwa reporting from the Ajumako Catholic JSS in the Central Region says there are no EC officials and materials present as at quarter to eight.

The Electoral Commission has always kept the electoral materials at various Police Stations from where they are dispatched to the polling stations. This sometimes causes delay in voting.

Delays in voting are not unusual with elections in Ghana but it normally does not mar the process. Although voting is supposed to end at 5pm local time, any prospective voter in the queue before the closing time is supposed by law, to be allowed to cast his or her ballot.

The Director of Public Affairs at the Electoral Commission, Christian Owusu Parry told a AEP in an interview, this morning that the delay could be due to heavy traffic particularly in the national capital, Accra. He urged the voters to bear with the Commission. "I want to appeal to voters in the queue to exercise patience. There is automatic extension of the voting process once voters are still in the queue", Mr. Owusu Parry said.

There has been very high public engagement in the process, as several radio and television stations covering the elections have been talking to prospective voters from the various polling centres. Social media which was not very popular in the last elections 4 years ago but there is a buzz of activities all night into the morning.

In all there are 8 men including an independent candidate contesting to become the next president. Also at stake is the contest for 275 seats in parliament by 1,332 candidates from 14 of the 23 registered political parties. Out of the number, 133 are female contestants.

Tamale Daboba: @ 7:08 am, officials are now setting up with over hundred people in the queue at all 3 polling stations

Krowor: Voting has not started as at 8:09 am, materials just arrived with setting up just beginning - S.O. Quansah

ADB polling station in Nungua: @ 8:00 am, voting hasn't started since materials were not in

Star Avenue A in the Ayawaso Central Constituency: about 80 people in the queue ready to vote, Electoral officers had not arrived but 2 agents present and 2 observers

Ayawaso Constituency: voting has not started in all three polling stations as at 7:30 am.

Subin Constituency: Goil filling station had people queueing since 8:00pm last night. At the Railways police station, 415 voters were given special numbers as at 3:00 am with 200 peoplestill waiting to receive numbers.

Subin Zion: there was a long queue as at 5:45 am with approximately 200 people seated. at the railway polling station agents arrived around 6:10 am

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