Pollster and Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch Newspaper, Ben Ephson has said that the presidential aspirants who were disqualified by the Electoral Commission did not do due diligence in seeking their endorsement signatures.

Speaking on NewsFile via phone, Ben Ephson attributed this to some of the candidates not having a presence in the various districts of the country. Nevertheless, he stated that the candidates, having failed to scrutinize their documents, should be held responsible for any illegalities on their forms.

“Some of these independent candidates do not have offices in the district so people are contracted to fill the forms … So their contractors have done a shoddy job for them but once you have signed the form and submitted them, it means you have to pay for them,” he noted.

Speaking to host of NewsFile, Samson Anyenini, he stated that the disqualification of the aspirants did not come as a surprise him, as he suspected that the aspirants did not investigate the work of their contractors before signing the forms.

“I am not surprised Samson, every 4 years, there are contractors who get your forms and fill it in the various districts, that is why there was overlap in some of the approvals,” he said.

“I believe this is the first time the EC has been very rigorous in terms of trying to check because I am sure there is software for confirming signatures vis-a-vis the original on the voter ID,” he said.

Ben Ephson noted that the move by the Electoral Commission will bring sanity going forward and “I think that come 2024, people will be a bit more careful”.

The Electoral Commission disqualified 5 presidential candidates with on the grounds of forgery of endorsees.

Independent candidate, Kofi Koranteng was disqualified because 19 persons who had supported the CPP also endorsed him. Further checks revealed that the 19 individuals were CPP executives. The EC said it also discovered that the signatures of the 19 persons were forged.

The United Progressive Party’s (UPP) Akwesi Addea Odike, according to the EC, had handwritings that were similar and the signatures that were the same. The issue has been referred to the police.

According to the EC, the People’s Action Party’s (PAP) Kwesi Busumbru, failed to provide some supporters for some districts. He had incomplete data for a number of his supporters, and a number of the supporters were not registered voters. Some supporters had different signatures on different forms. It was discovered that the signatures were fake.

United Front Party’s (UFP) Nana Agyenim Boateng was disqualified on grounds that three of the persons who supported his candidates denied knowledge of same. The issue was referred to the police and police concluded that the signatures were fake.

And Marricke Kofi Gane was disqualified because he had several signatures of his supporters following the same pattern.