Misunderstandings rocked the extended Special Voting again at many polling stations across the country yesterday, as many voters, including talk-show host, Kwame Sefa Kayi of Peace FM fame, could not exercise their franchise.
There was low turnout, compared to last Thursday’s, in an election for security agents, Electoral Commission (EC) staff and media practitioners, who will be on duty on Election Day – December 7.
The anomalies that characterized last Thursday’s poll could still not be rectified by the commission.
The incidence of voters being turned away because their names could not be found in the special register and for which reason the EC had to extend the exercise was still prevalent in yesterday’s exercise.
The EC has continuously given the assurance that it is ready to supervise ‘world-class’ elections on December 7, but the repeated incidence of possible disenfranchisement of voters as witnessed in the Special Voting is not convincing many that the Charlotte Osei-led election organizing body is really up to the task.
It was a baptism of fire for the new EC boss, as the process was a complete mess on Thursday, leading to the holding of an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting to find a way out of the huge number of voters whose names were missing from the electoral roll.
The EC, after meeting all the stakeholders, decided to extend the special exercise after it became obvious that many voters, particularly security agents, were going to be disenfranchised.
The exercise was extended to ensure that the affected persons would be able to vote but it turned out to be a mess.
At the Kotobabi Police Station, polling agents complained about many people not finding their names on the register and therefore unable to vote.
“I met a policeman who told me that he too was unable to vote because his name did not appear on the register,” according to an election observer.
“The earlier voting which saw a long queue was absent when I visited the place yesterday at about 9.30 am.”
The scene at the Nima Police Station was not different. The officials were idle while many media persons milled around the place.
The EC official there said that no new register was given to them and so persons who came with intent to vote could not do so.
Out of an expected 141 or so voters, only 10 had turned up at about 9.18 am yesterday.
Disappointed police personnel at the location – which serves as both divisional and district headquarters of the police – could not conceal their frustration.
The Nima Divisional Commander, ACP Vance Gariba, was engaged in an exercise with his officers to redirect National Democratic Congress (NDC) party supporters on motor bikes to an alternative route.
He did not want them to pass near the house of the standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akufo-Addo, and create a problem. He certainly dreaded a repeat of the nasty scene which occurred over a fortnight ago.
At the Dansoman Divisional Police Command in the Ablekuma West Constituency, there was not much activity, as the number of voters had reduced drastically.
The situation at the James Town District and the Korle-Bu Police Stations in the Odododiodioo and the Ablekuma South Constituencies respectively were almost the same.
Popular broadcaster, Kwame Sefa Kayi, expressed frustration when he could not cast his ballot because his name had vanished from the list of special voters.
Sefa Kayi, a multiple award-winning host of Accra-based Peace FM’s morning show – ‘Kokrokoo’ – programme, visited his designated polling centre at Community 2 in the Tema West Constituency but was disappointed.
“My name has vanished,” he told Joy News yesterday.
“It’s not just me…there are quite a number of us here and maybe I will go and try again on Wednesday,” the disappointed broadcaster indicated.
Dozens of security officers, media men and even the Electoral Commission’s own officials, were unable to find their names on the special voters’ list, despite the second opportunity offered them.
Similar problems were recorded at Amasaman, Cantonments, La Dadekotopon in the Greater Accra Region and Tamale Central in the Northern Region.
The EC, in setting the rules for the extension of the Special Voting, released a total of 92,231 out of the 126,875 as voters who were able to take part in the first phase of the early voting that took place on Thursday, 1st December.
The EC’s Director of Communications, Eric Kofi Dzakpasu, issued a statement indicating that the figure represented 72.69 percent of total turnout on December 1, maintaining that about 34,644 voters were eligible to vote in the extended exercise.
The EC gave the regional breakdown as Ashanti: 15,474 out of 19,710, representing 78.51%; Greater Accra: 16,474 out of 25,273, representing 65.18%; Volta: 9,672 out of 14,485, representing 66.77% and Central: 7,451 out of 10,358, representing 72.93%.
The rest included Western: 4,747 out of 7,016 (67.66 %); Eastern: 9,286 out of 12,995, which is 71.46%, Brong-Ahafo: 10,721 out of 13,716 (78.16%); Northern: 10,245 out of 13,134 (78%); Upper East: 6,327 out of 7,254 (87.20%) and Upper West: 1,828 out of 2,934, representing 62.30%.
“We wish to emphasise that the above figures are provisional at this stage,” the EC stated.
Source: Daily Guide
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