The Commission on Thursday December 1, 2016 held a dialogue with the various Presidential Candidates and their running mates taking part in this year’s presidential election.
The central objective of the engagement was for the Commission to directly brief the Candidates on all aspects regarding the electoral process; the reforms implemented this year, the role of the Candidates’ agents in the electoral process and the Commission’s preparedness to deliver credible and transparent elections.
In her presentation to the Candidates, the Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei highlighted the various integrity measures put in place to guarantee the credibility of the ballots. These include:
1. Ballot issuers are required to hold up each ballot paper issued for scrutiny of all at the Polling Station and to ensure its validation before handing over to the voter.
2. Polling Stations will be set up in a standardized manner that minimizes security threats, improves transparency, ensures that agents are placed in positions that allow them to play their roles effectively and protects the secrecy of the ballot.
3. All Presiding Officers will be issued with gloves which must be worn before sorting of ballots and counting.
4. Presiding Officers and Returning Officers will issue copies of collation sheets to Candidates/Agents.
5. Results Collation Sheets have unique serial numbers and are personalized to each Polling Station. Replacement Results Collation Sheets printed for use in the event of damage or loss of the personalized Results Collation sheets are a different colour and also have unique serial numbers.
6. Electronic transmission of the results to be implemented by the Commission is an added layer of integrity to the process. The Electronic Results Transmission System is also encrypted, making it impossible for anyone to interfere with or manipulate the results.
7. The colour of the indelible ink will be different from the ink on the thumbprint pad. This is to help reduce the number of rejected ballots resulting from accidental markings on the ballot papers from indelible ink on fingers.
8. In addition to broadcasting the results collation process live on television, and publishing the results on the Commission’s website, the EC has developed a mobile application which will give the public real-time access to the officially certified results. The mobile app (ThumbsApp) will soon be available on the android and IOS platforms for download.
The candidates on their part sought clarifications on the challenges with the special voters list and requested the Commission to consider extending the special voting exercise to allow all legitimate security officers to exercise their franchise. The Commission assured the candidates that it would work with the hierarchy of the security agencies to ensure that all security personnel are given the opportunity to vote.
ERIC KOFI DZAKPASU
Head of Communications