EC Registers 378 Proxy Voters

A total of 378 applicants have been registered by the Electoral Commission (EC) for proxy voting ahead of the December polls.

The breakdown is Greater Accra Region, 98; Ashanti, 106; Brong-Ahafo, 38; Western, 43 and Upper West 3.

The rest are Eastern Region, 36; Volta, 12; Northern, 4; Upper East, 1 and Central, 37.

What is left is for the commission to add the number of Ghanaians working with Ghana’s foreign missions.

On August 17, this year, the EC started a 40-day exercise to accept applications for proxy voting – a duration some political pundits insist was too long and could be subjected to abuse and manipulations.

Speculations are rife that the 2012 proxy list was manipulated to rig the elections in favour of a particular party, especially when the then EC boss, Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, claimed that over 450,000 foreign voters were registered.

But when pushed for the list during the election petition trial at the Supreme Court, he only managed to deliver 705 names, even with that there were multiple names.

The EC recently broke the rules in respect of the proxy voting when it went to the missions to ‘shop’ for proxy voters instead of waiting on government ministries and missions abroad to write to it to ask for proxy voting opportunities for their officers.

The commission had written to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) in a letter dated September 27, 2016, seeking for assistance to enable Ghanaian registered voters on official duties outside the country to vote by proxy in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

According to the EC, “This category of persons includes voters who are in government employment at Ghanaian missions abroad or serving in peacekeeping missions.”

The letter, signed by chairperson of the EC, Charlotte Osei, urged the Defence Ministry to furnish the commission with the list of peacekeepers who wish to vote by proxy.

EC, in the letter, stated that “the proxy forms are ready for collection at the commission’s head office for onward transmission to the various peacekeeping missions, and must be completed and returned by October 5, 2016.”