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General News of Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Source: Starrfmonline.com

EC, NPP clash over special voting figures

There is confusion between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the number of people cleared to vote through Special Voting come December 1.

While the EC insists only 65,001 people have been approved to vote on the day, the NPP says the list given them suggests that about 114,000 people will be voting under the special voting arrangement.

Speaking to Nii Arday Clegg on the Morning Starr Tuesday, the Director of Elections for the New Patriotic Party Martin Adjei Korsah challenged the EC to come clean with the actual figures of people voting on December 1.

“We had earlier been told by the commission that after the necessary procedures and arrangements, about 65,000 were voting under special voting but currently, the list submitted to us has 114,000 who are supposed to vote on that day, so we don’t know how the extra figures came about.

“And we haven’t been informed as to why the figure has changed so much. So we expect the EC to be consistent and forthright with us on this matter,” he said.

But in a sharp rebuttal, the EC spokesperson Eric Dzakpasu denied knowledge of the new figure and maintained that on record, the commission has only 65,001 who are supposed to vote on the day.

“I don’t know where this is coming from. On our IT system, what we have, and what was forwarded to me after I had requested was 65,001 and I don’t think it has changed. The IT office forwarded my figure to me on either Wednesday or Thursday last week,” he said.

He however gave the assurance that he will cross check the figures again to rectify the issue, if need be.

“I will do so because it looks like Martin's words and mine are contradicting and it shouldn't be the case. It is very important all issues are trashed out before the election, so we are doing our best to ensure that”.

Special voting is a special dispensation under the electoral laws that allows registered voters who will not be able to present themselves at their polling stations on voting day as a result of the roles they will play in the elections to vote on a date before the rest of the electorate vote on the date set for the elections.

The category of people who are allowed to do special voting are security personnel, officials of the EC and journalists.