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General News of Friday, 7 December 2012

Source: CODEO

Close of Polls: CODEO Situational Report

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has already issued its Mid-Day Report which stated that the setup and opening of polls generally went very well, though some polling stations were late in opening due to delays with the arrival of materials, with Greater Accra being the most affected region.

As a result, CODEO in its mid-day preliminary situation report concluded that the arrangements put in place by the EC for setup and opening of polls were adequate for most polling stations.”

This close of polls situational statement (a preliminary report) is based on reports CODEO has received from PVT Observers, Regional Coordinators (RCs) and Constituency Supervisors (CSs). It focuses on the initial information on the voting process as well as some critical incidents received throughout the day.

Below are highlights of field reports received from over 85% of PVT Observers from every region and constituency as of 7:00 pm today (i.e. Election Day). The remaining 15% of polling stations were either still open with people in the queue at 5pm voting or polling stations where voting had been suspended due to the problems encountered with the biometric verification machine.
Non Large

Initial Data on Voting

CODEO is able to make preliminary comments on the voting process on only those polling stations thathad completed voting by 7pm. A comprehensive statement will be made once voting is completed at all polling stations.

  • CODEO PVT Observers confirm that voters’ biometric information was verified prior to voting at 99% of polling stations. HOWEVER, the biometric verification machines failed at some point during voting at 18% of polling stations. Problems with the biometric verification machines were most frequent in Greater Accra (33% of polling stations).

codeo

  • At 98% of polling stations, the fingers of voters’ were marked with indelible ink. And at 99% of polling stations, ballot papers were stamped with the validating stamp before being issued.
  • Unauthorized persons were present during voting at 8% of polling stations. Incidents of harassment and intimidation were witnessed at 6% of polling stations.
  • At 12% of polling stations CODEO PVT Observers witnessed, people voted without voter ID cards.At the same time, at 5% of polling stations, people with voter ID cards were seen being turned away. This may have been for other reasons CODEO is yet to ascertain.
  • At 99% of polling stations, only those whose names appeared on the voters’ register were allowed to vote.
  • At 98% of polling stations, only those whose biometric details could be verified were allowed to vote.
  • At 85% of the polling stations, one or more persons with disability or elderly persons were assisted to vote. At 75% of the polling stations, assisted voters were allowed to select persons of their own choice to assist them.

Critical Incidents


CODEO operated a critical incident hotline for observers, constituency supervisors and regional coordinators throughout the day. The observers sent in reports on all serious issues that arose during the day. These reports were then verified by our Critical Incident Team.

  • A total of 79 critical incidents reports were received at the opening of polls and during voting across the country. The largest number of incidents reported came from Ashanti, Greater Accra and Northern Regions. The most frequently reported critical incidents were the suspension of voting, intimidation/harrassment, and violation of voting procedures.

incidence

While these critical incidents reported by CODEO observers may have impeded the rights of some
Ghanaians to vote, these did not fundamentally undermine the credibility of the overall process.

Extension of Voting

The announcement by the Electoral Commission to extend voting provides an opportunity for those who could not vote to exercise their right to vote. That is essential to ensuring these critical incidents do not undermine the integrity of the process.
Conclusion


CODEO has deployed about 4,500 trained, accredited, non-partisan rapid response observers. Of this figure, 1,500 are Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) Observers. CODEO will continue to observe the counting and collation process and will deploy observers tomorrow (Saturday) to those polling stations where voting has been suspended.
CODEO appeals to all Ghanaians to remain calm and be law abiding as voting is extended to a second day at some polling stations.

Signed:
Professor Miranda Greenstreet and Justice VCRAC Crabbe,
Joint Chairpersons
(For and on Behalf of the Advisory Board)
CODEO Secretariat, Friday, December 7, 2012



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