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Special voting takes off smoothly

BY: graphic.com.gh

The Special voting exercise has commenced smoothly in all the 275 centres across the nation.

The exercise, which started at 7am at most centres observed by Graphic Online reporters, is expected to end at 5pm.

A total of 109,557 people, made up of security persons, media people and staff of the Electoral Commisison, are expected to take part in the exercise.

Graphic Online correspondents report that the election process is being done under strict COVID-19 protocols, as Veronica buckets, temperature guns and hand sanitizers have been provided by the EC.

In the Nhyiaeso constituency in Kumasi, Enoch Darfah Frimpong reports that the voting which took place at the Police Depot at Patasi took off smoothly.

Out of the total  698 who were expected to vote, 190 had voted by 9:30am.

The two main contesting parliamentary candidates, Richard Prah for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and Stephen Amoah from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) expressed appreciation about the peaceful nature of the voting.

They spoke to Graphic Online in separate interviews at the polling station. [Watch video below] The independent candidate, Ebo Jones Gyenin was not at the voting centre at the time of the visit.

The Returning Officer, Gabriel Osei told Graphic Online expressed appreciation about the process.

Graphic Online observed at the time of the visit that, one voter who could not be verified via thumbprint was verified through facial recognition.

They also report that the EC officials, political party agents and eligible voters are also masked up and observing social distancing protocols.

From Bolgatanga, Vincent Amenuveve reports that five thousand nine hundred and forty-eight eligible voters are taking part in the special voting in the 15 constituencies of the Upper East Region today.

A visit to the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs at Bolgatanga showed that the exercise took off smoothly. Two voting centres, A and B were all located within the premises of the House of Chiefs.

As of 8:09am, 68 eligible voters had cast their votes at the Voting centre A out of the 416 registered voters that were expected to vote. At the voting centre B, 70 people had cast their ballots as of 8:20am out of the 415 registered voters at the centre.

From Kwadaso in the Ashanti region, Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor reports that some security personnel who came to vote could not find their names in the register and had to return home.

Initially the parliamentary candidate of the NDC, Mr Eric Assibey, tried to intervene by asking the Presiding Officer, Mrs Thelma Annan to allow them to vote but she declined.

She said they would have the chance to vote on Election Day, December 7 and that allowing them to vote would amount to an irregularity.

That notwithstanding, the NPP parliamentary candidate, Dr Kingsley Nyarko, and his NDC counterpart, Mr Assibey described the process as smooth and peaceful.

From the Dome-Kwabenya Constituency, Jasmine Arku reports that voting started at exactly 7am at the Kwabenay Police Station voting centre.

A total of 784 persons are expected to cast their votes and as at 9:25am, 244 persons had voted.

The Presiding Officer, Mr James Coffie, described the process as smooth and peaceful.

He said a few people were turned away because their names were not on the register.

From Sunyani in the Bono Region, Biiya Mukusah Ali reports that the enthusiasm among special voters was high as hundreds of them turned up to exercise their franchise.

Voting was peaceful and smooth at the Sunyani East and Sunyani West Polling Centres.

The Sunyani East Constituency special voting took place at the Bono Regional Police Headquarters, while in the Sunyani West Constituency, the exercise was held at the Odumase Methodist Junior High School.

At Sunyani East, a total of 659 voters, made up of security agencies, media and Electoral Commission officers were expected to cast their votes, while in the Sunyani West, 235 were expected to vote.

As at about 8:30 am when the Daily Graphic visited the Sunyani East Polling Centre, a total of 29 voters had cast their ballots while 74 voters had also done so at the Sunyani West Polling Centre of 9:00am.

So far all the voters at the two centres had exercised their franchise without facing verification problems.

She reports that those who went to the centres without their voters' identity cards only provided their names and were allowed to vote.

The Presiding Officer at the Sunyani East Polling Centre, Mr Charles Asante told the Graphic Online that voting had been smooth and peaceful.

He said they had not encountered any problem with the verification machine and expressed the hope that all the 659 would cast their ballots before 5:00 p.m.