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EC to conduct voter transfer for security personnel, others

The Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct a voter transfer exercise for prison inmates, security personnel and students from July 3 to 5, 2024.

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The Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Asare, disclosed this to the Daily Graphic after an Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting in Accra yesterday.

He said the exercise would allow prison inmates to transfer their votes to the constituencies where they were being held, while security personnel who missed the previous transfer window would have the opportunity to transfer their votes.

In addition, he said, the EC would set up machines in the 25 university campuses to enable students who registered in their hometowns but had not transferred their votes to do so to enable them to vote on their various university campuses.

He explained that the decision followed an engagement with the leadership of the security agencies and students as a result of letters received from the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS).

“We think that this should be able to satisfy the members of the security agencies, the students who are on campus who have not been able to transfer because come December 7, they are going to be on their campuses,” he said.

“Beyond that, we also have the proxy voting - that is those who want to apply for proxy voting who did not take advantage of the previous window are now going to get the opportunity to do so from July 3 to 5, 2024,” Dr Asare said, adding that “application for proxy voting will be opened only to the security forces on special duty from July 6 to 7, 2024.”

Dr Asare said the various political parties present at the IPAC meeting agreed to these key issues that were discussed, which include transfer of vote and proxy voting. Aside from the voter transfer and proxy voting, the Deputy EC Chairman in charge of Corporate Services, said the Commission would also conduct a mop-up voter registration exercise from August 1 to 3, 2023, while the special voting was slated for December 2, 2024.

Parties at the meeting included the New Patriotic Party (NPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), Convention People's Party (CPP), People's National Convention (PNC), Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Ghana Freedom Party (GFP) and the Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP).

Other stakeholders in the electoral process such as democratic institutions, civil society organisations (CSOs), faith-based organisations and development partners were also present.

NDC

The NDC’s Director of Elections, Dr Edward Omane Boamah, described the meeting as “very cordial with a lot of agreements reached”, but said the EC breached its own established rules when in several places the biometrics of people who applied for proxy voting were not taken.

“We don’t want people to be voting for dead people, so we have asked the EC to check their system against the total number of proxies that we had,” he said. 
Dr Boamah also called on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to 

provide the EC with technical assistance ahead of the elections “because it is very clear that the EC IT department is not working well”.  The appeal to the UNDP, Dr Boamah said, was supported by the political parties present at the IPAC meeting.

He said, for instance, the NDC wanted separation between special voting and special duties, and argued that all security personnel could apply for special voting, but only those on special duties outside Ghana should be able to apply for proxy voting.

NPP

A Deputy General Secretary of the NPP, Haruna Mohammed, said the meeting also discussed the total number of people registered in the recent registration exercise that took place from May 7 to 29, with the EC said to have announced that about 777,000 new prospective voters were registered.

“As political parties, we requested that this data be packaged very well and sent to us so that we will be able to look at them,” he said. He stated that questions were asked about people who were challenged, saying “we need to get the total numbers as have been completed by the EC after the extended date for the registration exercise”.

The NPP’s Director of Elections, Evans Nimako, said all the political parties agreed to the need for capacity-building to be made available to all stakeholders in the electoral process, adding that the EC should also apply the appropriate laws to ensure that the country’s multiparty democracy was sustained so that the upcoming elections could be conducted in a free, fair and transparent manner for all parties to accept the outcome.

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