Civil Society Organisation, Alliance for Social Equity and Public Accountability (ASEPA) says claims by the Electoral Commission (EC) that it saved Ghana ¢523million after conducting the 2020 general election are false and extremely misleading.

In a press release, ASEPA stated that the election management body’s claim is an attempt to “whitewash the EC’s image as a reckless spender.”

This, they explained, was confirmed by the EC’s decision to procure a new voter management system ahead of the elections in 2020 when the existing infrastructure was still largely useful.

This comes after EC’s Director for Training, Michael Boadu, earlier this month disclosed that the Commission made a massive savings of ¢523,409,980 or $90,243,100.

He added that the cost per voter was ¢40.78 a drastic reduction from the previous cost of the exercise held in 2016, which was about ¢70.

He noted that what led to the cost of reduction were stringent steps taken by the Commission to ensure transparent and fair procurement practices

EC's claim of saving Ghana ¢523m false, baseless - ASEPA

However, ASEPA in their press statement revealed that in 2020 when the EC insisted on having a new voters’ register, the Ministry of Finance gave the election management body ¢444,864, 663 to conduct the exercise.

The EC, the CSO added, was further given ¢287,842,995 to conduct the December 7 general election.

“The sum of these two expenditures will give you GH¢760,074,169. It is this amount that the EC divided the total number of registered voters which is 16.9 m to get the GH¢40.78 it claims to have spent on each voter in 2020.”

“However the EC deliberately failed to add the $24 million it’s spent to procure new BVDs and BVRs and the $74.6m it spent to build a new data centre all in 2020 the cost of the elections,” parts of the statement read.

ASEPA explained that the data centre and the new BVD/BVR kits cost the EC $94.6m equivalent to ¢567.6 million at the current exchange rate.

A total calculation of the amount spent on the voters’ registration exercise, the general elections, the data centre and the new BVD/BVR kits is GH¢1.3b – that is the total cost of the 2020 elections, the statement read.

“This means that the EC spends a total of GH¢76.9 per voter in 2020, an excess of GHC116 million more than the cost of the 2016 general elections,” ASEPA added.

ASEPA urged Ghanaians to disregard the cost-saving claim as “fictitious”, “baseless” and a “mere propaganda” by the election management body that is not backed by the facts.