Election Day nears and pressure mounts on the Electoral Commission (EC) as 17million voters and the entire country wait to change or retain the Nana Akufo-Addo administration.
With 38,622 polling stations, 10,000 more than 2016, the EC says 233,632 temporary officials have been contracted to aid the Chairperson, Jean Mensa to carry out the mandate.
These temporary staff are made up of polling station officials, polling station presiding officers and staff of Constituency Collating Centers with new addition Covid-19 ambassadors.
The officials from the polling stations, after declaration of results sign Pink Sheets, overseen by the Presiding Officer, transfer the ballots to the Constituency Collating Centres for tabulating of all results from each constituency.
Then there is a Returning Officer whose duty is to make sure the results from the Constituency reaches the National Collating Centre.
However, in 2020 the EC has introduced a Regional Collating Center, according to Director of Electoral Services, Dr Serebour Quaicoe. So, Region by Region, the Presidential results will be received at the National Collating Centre and signed by all party representatives and the EC Chair.
In 2016 an enhanced IT system was developed as an improvement on the existing fax system that is used to transmit the results to Accra before the Pink Sheets arrive.
Once the parties verify the results against those received from their representatives at the Constituency Collating Centres, they are signed as the country gets closer to the declaration of presidential results; parliamentary results are declared at the Constituency level.
In 2016, the EC claimed its new IT system which was expected to expedite the process was compromised and announced they would, therefore, manually transmit and verify all results.
This year, EC says they are reverting to manual transmission of results. After results from all 16 Regions come in and have been verified, the EC Chairperson would announce the winner to the nation.
One issue that has been topical in the lead up to the election has been how to verify voters on election day, as this was one of the principal issues that caused a massive legal challenge on the 2012 presidential elections.
The EC insists sufficient steps have been taken to electronically verify all voters with facial recognition added to the biometric verification system. The EC says manual verification would, however, be allowed just in case both systems fail to verify a voter.
The total cost of the 2020 elections is yet to be released. Parliament earlier approved a budget of GH¢1.3 billion for the entire year for the EC.
Some GH¢390 million of this was allocated to the compilation of the new voters’ register. In her brief to Parliament on November 7th, the EC Chairperson revealed the cost of some of the kits procured for election;
- Biometric Verification Devices – GH¢151.2m.
- Registration Data Processing Verification – GH¢18.7m.
- Data Centre And Disaster Recovery Centre – GH¢21m
As the election approaches, capability and competencies will be tested with the eventual margin of victory possibly determining ultimate confidences.
In an era of unprecedented contested elections, even in the strongest and oldest democratic systems, it has never been more important.
- Moody’s downgrades Ghana to further junk status, warns investors could lose in debt restructuring
- Organised Labour rejects 18% salary increment
- “We’ve been tracking Mohammed Kudus for more than one year” – Barcelona Director
- Qatar 2022: “Kudus is currently the World Cup best player” – Prince Boateng
- Some OMCs start reducing fuel prices, GOIL down by 3.5%
- Minority welcomes government’s decision to reintroduce road toll in 2023
- Ronaldo receives $225m offer to play for Saudi Arabian club
- Ato Forson calls out ministers and MPs for abandoning 2023 budget to watch football in Qatar
- ‘Insulting’ Ashanti Regional NSS Boss to appear before Committee of Inquiry
- 2023 Budget: TUC rejects government’s salary projection of ₵44.9m
- Ghana football: How to dribble around nationality rules
- Cyril Ramaphosa: South African president faces threat of impeachment over ‘Farmgate’
- Moody’s downgrade is a signal that investors must exercise patience – Prof. Peprah
- Seek out Vulture investors now – Prof. Peprah to Ofori-Atta
- Banks, investment firms have not acted fairly towards Ghanaian investors – Dr. Atuahene
- National Queen Mothers Platform joins fight against illegal mining
- Defer interest payments and pay principals – Prof. Peprah
- Harmattan Season: Wildfires destroy food crops in North-East Region
- NHIA opens new office at Mion
- Second Lady calls for comprehensive development of children
- Include persons with mental health conditions in immunization programmes – MindFreedom Ghana to GHS
- Ofori-Atta has more integrity than 99% of politicians – Prof. Stephen Adei
- Directors of ‘The Woman King’ auditioned me for a role – Prince David Osei
- Government’s management of economy commendable – Prof Adei
- Supreme Court dismisses suit against GRA’s pay 30% before challenging Act