All polling stations with more than 700 names on their voters register will be split into two — A and B — for the December 7 general election, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said.
The decision, it explained, was to ensure that long queues were reduced at those polling stations, which number 6,000.
A Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, who made this known at the 2020 Star Ghana Foundation 2020 Call Learning Event in Accra yesterday, added that the decision was in line with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The event was on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on election programming in the country.
Dr Asare said each polling station would have a COVID-19 ambassador, whose duty would be to ensure that all the COVID-19 safety measures were in place and observed.
He said the voters registration exercise passed without anybody contracting the COVID-19.
Regarding the printing of ballot papers, the deputy EC chair said the political parties would be involved in the process, as their representatives would be invited to observe the printing process.
The move, he said, was to ensure greater transparency for the elections, as well as prevent rigging.
“This is what the commission does and this year we are not going to depart from tradition and best practices. When it comes to the printing of ballot papers, we go to the printing houses with representatives of the political parties. For instance, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will have their agents at each of the printing houses,” he said.
Ahead of the elections proper, Dr Asare said, the EC would go to the regions to meet various stakeholders, including youth groups, to educate them on the electoral process.
“We are doing whatever it is to deliver credible elections,” he said.
On the transfer of votes, he said only students and members of the security agencies would be allowed to transfer their votes.
Asked when the final register would be ready, he said hopefully as soon as the transfer of votes was done by October 25, 2020, the EC would begin the process for the finalisation of the register.
“We are looking at the second week in November and so we are looking around November 10. The C.I. is very clear on how we make the register available to the parties.
“It says the commission should give the register to the political parties in the form that will be determined by the commission; that is in the C.I.,” he said.
An Assistant Director at the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Dr Imurana Mahammed, indicated that threats by some communities not to vote because of the failure of the government to provide them with certain amenities were a disincentive to the elections.
According to him, that could give rise to vigilantism, since community members might think that electing people into office could not address their problems.
The Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, Mr George Amoah, said the council had a series of activities to undertake as part of its programme to ensure peaceful elections.
The Executive Director of the Star Ghana Foundation, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, said the COVID-19 had impacted negatively on civil society’s resource mobilisation for election activities.
The Director of Operations of the Ghana Police Service, DCOP (Dr) Sayibu Pabi Gariba, said all election security taskforces that had been set up from the national to the district levels were currently operational.