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General News of Friday, 9 September 2016

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Proxy voting will not be abused - EC

The deputy eastern regional director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr John Appiah Baffoe, has allayed fears that proxy voting during this year’s election will be abused.

“It is not true that anybody can just walk to the district offices of the EC to pick an application form to vote on behalf of another voter as a proxy,” he said.

Speaking with the Daily Graphic in an interview in Koforidua, Mr Baffoe explained that voters who would not be available on December 7, 2016 were expected to pick application forms from the EC within the time stipulated to go through the technical details of proxy.

The EC started receiving applications for proxy voting from August 17 and the process will end on September 26, 2016.

Mr Baffoe was speaking on the sidelines of the Graphic Town Hall Meeting between political party representatives and stakeholders in Koforidua in the Eastern Region last Wednesday.

Proxies must be verified

“It is not correct that once you pick the application form and fill it for submission then you are eligible for proxy voting,” he stated.
He said the proxy needed to be a registered voter as well, which meant that not just anybody could be picked as proxy.


Mr Baffoe indicated that the commission would have to enter the 10 fingerprints of the proxy to those of the applicant.

“This is necessary because on election day, the proxy must also be verified before he would be allowed to vote. If all these technical details are not provided, the application will not be accepted by the commission,” he added.
Either the applicant or the proxy, according to him, could pick the application form and fill it for the technical details to be completed by the EC.

Both the person asking someone to vote on his behalf by proxy and the voter, he explained, must both be verified for the proxy to be complete.

Vote transfer

Mr Baffoe said the EC anticipated a high number of vote transfers as it began a month-long nation-wide exercise today, Friday, September 9, to October 7, 2016.

The last such transfer by the EC was in 2012.

In line with that anticipation, he advised Ghanaians who had moved residence to new areas to take advantage of the exercise.

Explaining further, he asked would-be applicants to go to the districts where they were currently resident to transfer their votes and not to go to the district where they first registered.

Such applicants, he said, must ensure that they had lived at their new places of abode for not less than 12 months and were expected to show or provide physical proof of that to the commission.