CDD, NPP back EC to review voting duration

…But NDC wants decision reconsidered

The Centre for Democratic Development-Ghana (CDD-Ghana) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) have backed the Electoral Commission’s (EC’s) decision to review the voting duration downwards ahead of the 2020 general election.

They said the idea was worth considering, given previous conversations about how the time for closing polls affected counting among other issues could be changed through constitutional instrument and commission could propose and subsequently send to Parliament for consideration.

However, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has urged the EC to reconsider its plans to review the duration allowed for voters to cast their ballot downward but should be exploring more sophisticated measures to quicken the polls.
It said the way to solve it was to reduce the time for voting but should look at more sophisticated ways of quickening the voting process to avoid cumbersome rather than reducing the time.

The EC is considering reducing the duration by an hour to improve the security and speed of the polling process, traditionally, polls open at 7am and close at 5pm but casting of ballots may continue hours after the close of polls depending on number of electorate who were already waiting in the queue.

The commission had also observed voters wait till the last hour to join the voting queues, late resolution of voting, casting of ballots poses grave danger to security of ballots, safety of electoral officers and major concern for it.

 Dr Franklin Oduro, the Deputy Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, indicated that, “I think it is a good idea for consideration since it is not the first time an idea has been suggested, I think power of administrative law can be changed through constitutional instrument because it is Electoral Commission as our constitution mandates to design and come up with appropriate administrative methods and procedures”.

However, Evans Nimako, the Director of Elections and Research of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), welcomed the move on behalf of his party but called on the EC to consult stakeholders on the matter. “Management of election day voting activity should be looked into properly,” he said. 

But Peter Otukunor, the Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, pointed out that “we should look at more sophisticated ways of quickening voting processes to avoid making it cumbersome for the electorate to vote quickly, rather than reducing the time”

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