EC must learn from special voting hitches – Sheikh Aremeyaw

The Electoral Commission has been advised to ensure that hitches that characterised Tuesday’s special voting are properly addressed to ensure a smooth voting process on Friday.

An advisory board member with the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), Sheikh Aremeyao speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story said there were reports of “intermittent breakdown” of the verification machine at Tumu in the Upper West region, albeit he conceded that the machines were susceptible to the weather condition there.

He however appealed to Ghanaians to be tolerant with the system if it encounters any challenges on Friday.

He also called on the EC to as a matter of urgency give the necessary directives to its officials who would be in charge of Friday’s crucial exercise, remarking, “for us the smoothness of the process is key to the credibility of the whole process and we should do everything to ensure that we have a smooth election”.

However, Sheikh Aremeyao who claimed CODEO is “so close to the EC and have been monitoring” its activities, placed on record that CODEO is “confident” with processes so far – from registration, distribution of ballot papers under eagle eyes of security personnel, as well as serious training of EC technicians.

Nevertheless, he stated “we don’t want to sound pessimistic”, and charged the EC to conduct the election in a “fair and firm” manner.

Sylvia Annor, Principal Public Relations Officer of the Electoral Commission, was satisfied that the verification machines that many thought would be the waterloo of the electoral process, did not disappoint.

She said EC officials toured a number of centres and found all the machines working perfectly.

Madam Sylvia Annor assured that the machines have been tested and proven to be efficient and capable to handle Friday’s work, insisting there should not be any cause of alarm. She furthered noted that the machines use ‘AA’ batteries and do not rely on electricity, describing the verification as “quicker and improvement of the past”.

“It is pleasing to note that. It is ok when we do something right and you tell us, and not only look at petty, petty negatives and blow them out of proportion, you are talking about the positive, and I think it is good for democracy.”

Though some security personnel who were supposed to vote today did not find their names on the list, Madam Annor assured that since their names are in the voter’s register, they would not be disenfranchised.

She asked persons who are in doubt of where to vote to text their voter ID numbers (10 digits) to 1413.

The special voting exercise ended in most part of the country at 5pm.

But in the Bono Ahafo Region, Kuuku Abban reported that over 300 people had queued to vote after 5:30pm at the Regional Police command.

He said there was a pandemonium earlier in the day with security personnel “shoving and pushing each other” when the queue was moving slowly than they expected. Situation there returned to normalcy when the long winding queue was split into two.

 

Source: Myjoyonline