CODEO lauds local elections

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) yesterday said almost all the polling stations for the 2019 District Level and Unit Committee Elections were set up in a manner that ensured voters could cast their ballots in secret.

CODEO in a press statement on its mid-day Polling Day Observation: Situational Report in the just ended District Level and Unit Committee Elections, signed by the National Coordinator, Albert Arhin,  copied to the Ghanaian Times,  said it deployed 800 stationary Polling Station Observers (PSO) and 300 roaming observers, making a total of 1,100 observers deployed nationwide and the observers said 92.8 per cent of the polling stations were set up properly, leaving only 7.2 per cent which were not properly set.

It said its mid-day situational statement based on reports received from 98 per cent of the 800 PSO indicated that all the CODEO observers were granted access to observe the elections and 93.3 per cent of the polling stations were accessible to persons with disabilities and the elderly, and only 6.7 per cent were not accessible to such individuals.

The statement said majority (88.4 per cent) of polling stations observed opened between 7:15 a.m to 8 a.m, including 48.5 per cent who opened by 7:15 and one in ten (10.7 per cent) opened between 8:01 a.m and 10:00 a.m, while one per cent either opened after 10:00 a.m or had not opened as at the time observers sent their reports.

“CODEO observers reported that there were candidates agents present for the District Assembly Elections in 92.4 per cent of polling stations observed,” the statement said.

Regarding Unit Committee Elections, the statement said CODEO observers found candidate agents in 43.1 per cent polling stations and in majority of the polling stations (56.9 per cent), there were no agents for such candidates.

“At the time of setting up of polling stations, all materials needed for the elections were available in half (50.2 per cent) of polling stations.  Observers reported unavailability of the following voting materials in some polling stations at the time of set-up: ballot  box (4.1 per cent of polling stations), ballot papers (3.7 per cent of polling stations), indelible ink (4.7 per cent of polling stations), voting screen (4.0 per cent of polling stations), validating stamp (3.7 per cent of polling stations), ink pad (3.6 per cent of polling stations), endorsing ink (4.0 per cent of polling stations) and tactile ballot papers (19.98 per cent of polling stations),” the statement said.

It said CODEO observers reported that poll officials generally adhered to polling station set-up and opening protocols and at 97.6 per cent of the polling stations, ballot boxes were shown to be empty, sealed and placed in the public view before voting commenced, and in 2.4 per cent of the polling stations, that standard practice was not followed by election officials.

“In three-quarters of polling stations (72.9 per cent), CODEO observers saw stationed uniformed security personnel. However, a quarter (27.1 per cent) of polling stations had no stationed uniformed security personnel,” the statement said, and stressed that “CODEO will continue to observe the polls and will update the public with its findings.”

By Times Reporter

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