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Politics of Monday, 24 May 2021


90% of polling stations in 2020 ended voting by 1pm – EC justifies 3pm voting closure

Jean Mensa, EC Chairperson Jean Mensa, EC Chairperson

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has said 90% of the over 32,000 polling stations it operated in the 2020 elections concluded voting by 1pm due to the seamlessness of the exercise in the election, reports.

The EC made this 1pm disclosure in support of its proposal to reduce the closing time for voting from the current 5pm to the 3pm which it says will not disenfranchise anybody.

This new proposal, if accepted by stakeholders will mean no one will be admitted to the polling station to cast their ballot after 3pm but if a voter happens to be in the queue after 3pm, voting will continue until everybody in the queue has voted.

The EC has argued that this particular move will pave way for early counting of votes and declaration of results at the polling station and to prevent a situation where counting goes into the night and the possibility of violence and rigging which the darkness come with.

This reform was included in a 16-point proposal by the Electoral Commission (EC) that was agreed on by the Interparty Advisory Committee (IPAC) at the end of a two-day review workshop of the 2020 general elections in Accra without the participation of the leading opposition the National Democratic Congress.

The workshop was attended by over 10 political parties including the New Patriotic Party (NPP), People’s National Convention (PNC), Convention People’s Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), National Democratic Party (NDP) and the Ghana Union Movement (GUM).

1pm voting data

Director of Election of the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe speaking on Citi Eyewitness News monitored by said data in possession of the EC supports the EC’s 3pm time as 90% of polling stations in 2020 finished voting by 1pm.

According to him, the average voter spent less than 2 minutes to cast the vote and was optimistic this could be improved.

He assured that if the 3pm closing time is accepted, the problems of delayed start of vote will be eliminated as the EC will expedite its efforts to ensure materials get to locations on time. He said the EC intends to continue airlifting materials as it did in the 2020 poll.

NDC boycott

On the NDC boycott, Dr. Sereboe said the NDC is the best party to answer why it is boycotting the EC.

The NDC has indicated that since it has issues with the 2020 general elections which it claims the EC has not resolved, the party will not participate in any IPAC meeting to review the 2020 elections.

The EC workshop reviewed issues and proposals relating to voter registration, exhibition exercise, filing of nominations, election security, collation of results as well as the successes and challenges that came with the 2020 elections.