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Discontinuation of indelible ink usage during 2024 polls will allow criminals to take over Ghana’s electoral process – NDC warns EC

Discontinuation of indelible ink usage during 2024 polls will allow criminals to take over Ghana's electoral process – NDC warns EC

He feared that the discontinuation would compromise the integrity of the elections.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Monday, January 8, 2024, he said “The discontinuation of the use of indelible ink at the stage will open the floodgate for nefarious activities that will compromise the integrity of our elections. Have we as Ghanaians said we will not pay for the indelible ink?

“The EC must not make life easy for criminals to exploit our electoral process.”

Chair of the EC Jean Mensa

Mr. Asiedu Nketiah is not the only one calling on the commission to abort this plan.

The Majority Leader Osei-Kyei-Mensah Bonsu also told the EC to have a second look at its decision.

He also told the commission not to close polls at 3 PM as it is proposing.

“If we are sure that we will start early and then create many more polling stations such that by 2 PM, 90 or 95 percent have voted, why not? But we should not create a situation where instead of cleaning up the system we rather end up creating chaos,” he told TV3’s Beatrice Adu in an interview.

“If you want to end at 3, instead of starting at 7 and beginning at 8, you create chaos,” he stressed.

The Suame lawmaker added, “Another thing I think the EC may have to have a second look at is their discontinuance of the usage of inedible ink, I think they should go back and reconsider it.”

The EC announced that indelible ink will no longer be used in the district-level elections and subsequent polls. According to the Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa, the decision is part of efforts to enhance the electoral process and establish a robust identification system.

She explained at a media briefing on Monday, December 18 that the biometric identification system flags anyone who attempts multiple registrations; hence, anyone verified after voting cannot vote again.

“The issue of indelible ink, the question is when we were not doing biometric, we were using your face, your card. We look at your face and we say this picture looks like you. The biometric technology makes it difficult for a person who has been verified and cast their vote to come a second time.

“So, there is no need for indelible ink. Once you have been verified, it goes into the system and you cannot come back a second time,” she said.

Mrs Adukwei Mensa, while also announcing the proposal to close polls at 3 PM indicated that this would allow electoral officers to collate the votes in broad daylight to ensure transparency and orderliness.

Speaking during an inter-party dialogue and stock-taking conference organized by the National  Council in Accra on Thursday, December 14, she intimated that the proposal stems from the experience in the 2020 elections where about 70 percent of voting centres were empty by 1:00 pm.

“In 2020, 70 percent of our polling centres had a voter threshold of 500 and below. This time we intend to ensure that all our polling station centers have a threshold of 500 voters and below. In the same vein, we will increase the number of our polling stations nationwide.

“We believe that this will go a long way to reduce the long queues that characterize our elections and allow for a smooth, seamless, hustle-free voting process. In 2020, it took voters not more than five minutes to cast their votes due to the introduction of this policy.

“Based on our 2020 experience and also feedback from several observer groups we propose to close the polls at 3:00 pm.

“Our experience in 2020 reveals that by 1:00 pm, 70 percent of our polling stations were empty of voters as most voters had cast their votes. This made it possible because the threshold of most polling centers was reduced to 500 voters per voting center.

“This was coupled with the robust verification devices that were deployed to the polling stations. We are convinced that by closing the polls at 3:00 pm, we will be able to count and collate in broad daylight and this will promote the needed transparency and orderliness that we so desire,” Mrs. Mensa said. BUABENG

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