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Politics of Friday, 21 May 2021


Closing polls at 3 PM possible - EC insists

The EC insists the new proposal for change in time for close of polls is possible The EC insists the new proposal for change in time for close of polls is possible

The proposal by IPAC to subsequently work at closing polls at 3:00 PM instead of the current 5:00 PM arrangement is one that is possible, insists the Electoral Commission.

By this, the EC has endorsed the proposal from the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), arrived at following a 2-day review workshop on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, reports

The review workshop reached 16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections, including this new closing time for polls.

Making a case for the viability of this new proposal in an interview, the Director of Elections at the Electoral Commission, Dr. Siriboe Quarcoo, stated that with the level of efficiency the country has attained, especially judging from the previous election, the decision to close polls at 3:00 PM is attainable.

“After the election, we do an evaluation, the areas that we did well in, we sustain and try to improve on, and the areas we didn’t perform well in, we try to find better ways of doing it. We saw that in the 2020 election, most of the polling stations were done around 1:00 PM.

“Also, in many countries in the world, voting closes as early as 3:00 PM, and so it made us realise that with the efficiency we have put into the system, we can conveniently close the election by 3:00 PM, then we can use two hours to finish the counting during the day to avoid doing it at night,” he stated.

In the meantime, the National Democratic Congress has rejected all the electoral review proposals made by IPAC on the management of the country’s subsequent elections.

Making this known during a press briefing yesterday at the Party’s headquarters in Accra, the Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, said the party disagrees with the resolutions.

“NDC finds the proposal by the Jean Mensah-led EC to change the closing time of polls from 5:00 PM to 3:00 PM in 2024 baffling and mind-boggling. Since the 1992 elections, polls have always closed at 5:00 PM. This has worked perfectly without any challenges whatsoever.

"It, therefore, beggars belief that the EC would want to change this time-tested arrangement and go for a poorly thought-through alternative which is bound to disenfranchise eligible voters and create needless problems for our electoral system,” he explained.