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Political parties receive copies of voters register, electoral materials go to regions

BY: Albert K. Salia
Electoral Commissioner (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa
Electoral Commissioner (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa

All the 16 regions will receive the electoral materials they require for the 2020 elections by Friday, November 20, this year.

Ahead of that, the Electoral Commission (EC) will hold an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting with all stakeholders on Thursday to brief them on Election Day activities.

The electoral materials include ballot papers, the voters register, thumbprint pads, voting screens, stationery, identification jackets, polling station booths, rechargeable lamps, indelible ink, educational posters, seals and COVID-19 items such as Veronica buckets and sanitiser.

The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, who disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an exclusive interview on Monday, added that all the political parties had also received their copies of the voters register.

The interview comes after the two Deputy Chairpersons of the EC, Dr Bossman Eric Asare and Mr Samuel Tettey, had met the Deputy United Nations Secretary-General, Ms Amina J. Mohammed, who is in the country on an official visit ahead of the December 7 polls and to familiarise herself with support efforts towards the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

At the meeting were the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the African Union (AU) and Head of the United Nations Office to the AU, Ms Hannah Serwaa Tetteh; the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, and the UN Resident Coordinator in Ghana, Mr Charles Abani.

Printing

Mrs Mensa said the printing of both the voters register and ballot papers had been completed and they were being bagged.

“We have started dispatching them. Vehicles are in to send them. By Friday, November 20, 2020, all the regional offices would have received their electoral materials,” she said.

She described the dispatch of electoral materials as a record, considering that the country was about two weeks away from the elections.

Throwing more light on the issue, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoo, said in previous elections, electoral materials were delivered two days to the elections or on election day.

He said the EC wanted to change the dynamics of doing things, hence the early delivery of all materials.

BVDs

On the biometric verification devices (BVDs) to be used on Election Day, Dr Quaicoo said the EC would provide two extra BVDs per polling station, so that in the event that there was a challenge with what was being used, the extra devices would come in handy.

He gave an assurance that all the gadgets had been tested and were ready to deliver excellent services on Election day.

For instance, he said, although the batteries of the BVDs could last for 11 hours when fully charged, the EC had gone the extra mile to provide power banks as a back-up.

UN meeting

Touching on the meeting with the UN officials, Dr Asare said the EC team briefed the UN delegation on preparations towards the December 7 elections.

He said the EC expressed appreciation to the UN for its invaluable support in strengthening its work.

He said the EC assured the team that it was ready to deliver free, fair, transparent and credible elections on December 7.

Background

When Mrs Mensa appeared before Parliament on November 7, this year, she assured the House that the commission was 95 per cent ready to conduct successful, credible, fair, orderly and peaceful elections on December 7.

She said the commission had already procured a wide range of electoral materials for the 2020 elections.

She said it had procured 147 vehicles, made up of 15 motorbikes, 30 four-wheel drives, 107 pick-ups, eight haulage trucks and two Coaster buses to help facilitate the movement of its staff and promote the delivery of their mandate at the district level.

That, she indicated, had bolstered the efficiency of its staff, as well as the swift movement of goods and materials from the stores of the EC to the regional and district offices.

Mrs Mensa said the commission had, to date, employed close to 233,632 temporary officials, made up of returning officers and their deputies, presiding officers, verification officers, name reference officers, as well as a COVID-19 ambassadors, for the elections.