District Assembly election ends, records low turn out

The much-anticipated district level elections came off successfully yesterday but with low turnout recorded at polling stations the Ghanaian Times visited.

The polls were at for the election of members of – District Assemblies and Unit Committee.

In all 18,510 candidates vied for spots at the District Assembly with 38,520 competing to be members of the various Unit Committees in their respective electoral areas.

From the Nii Boi Town ‘1’ polling station in the Okaikwei North constituency in Accra,  Jonathan Donkor reports that one after the other, electorates trickled in to cast their votes for their preferred assembly and unit committee members.

At the opening of polls at 7:15, less than 10 people, unlike general elections, had formed a queue awaiting electoral officers.

Out of a total of 788 voters expected to turn up, the returning officer who declined to give his name, said less than half had voted as of midday but was hopeful that more people would cast their votes before voting closed at 5:00pm.

Aside the 15 minutes delay due to the late arrival of materials, the process was smooth except for a few people including a physically challenged man with one limb who tried several times before he was verified by the biometric device.

Agnes Opoku Sarpong reported from the Pentecost Bubiashe ‘A’ polling station in Accra that 560 voters were expected to cast their ballots but 63 had voted as of 12:40pm.

According to Nicholas Lartey, the Presiding Officer (PO), no challenges had been encountered.

Similarly, the voting process was smooth but with low turnout at Pentecost Bubiashe ‘A’ polling station with only 54 out of 774 voting as of midday, according to the PO, Patience Ahiagbor.

From the Bask Academy polling station ‘A’ and ‘B’ in the Krowor Constituency of the Greater Accra region, Julius Yao Petetsi reported that only 57 out of a total of 1446 registered voters had cast their ballots. 

At Dobro in the Nsawam-Adoagyiri Constituency of the Eastern Region, voting was generally peaceful, but turnout in some of the Polling Stations in the morning was low Kingsley Asare reported.

When the Ghanaian Times visited some of the Polling Stations at Dobro around 9 a.m., there were a handful of people casting their votes.

At the Ankwa Dobro L/A Primary ‘C’ Polling Station, only 26 of the 572 eligible voters had cast their ballots as at 9:18am.

The PO who declined to give her name said compared with general elections, “the voting here is not encouraging.”

At the L/A Primary Ankwa Dobro ‘B’, the PO, Okatayie Opare, said the voting exercise started exactly at 7am as voting materials arrived on time.

He said there were 658 people on the register and only 40 people had voted as at 9.20am.

At the L/A Primary Ankwa Dobro ‘A’ Polling Station, 51 out of the 731 on the voters’ roll had cast their ballots as 9: 25am with only 29 out of 788 registered voters voting as at 9:30 at the Ankwa Dobro Primary ‘B’ Polling Station.

Claude Nyarko Adams reported from the Dzorwulu JHS ‘B’ polling station that only 50 people out of a total of 651 voters  had turned out to vote and at an adjacent polling station, Dzorwulu Bethany Methodist, only 44 from a total of 562 had voted by midday.

A third polling station in the area, the station had recorded only 33 voters from 644 voters as at 11am.

From Koforidua, Eastern Region, Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu Agyeman and David Kodjo reported that the elections started peacefully and on time at most centres but few people were present to cast their votes.

However most presiding officers said the turnout was better compared to previous elections.

As at 10.20am at the Kwaku Okeyere electoral area, Central Market ‘A’ polling station in the New Juaben South Municipality, 83 people out of a total number of 476 had cast their vote while at the Police Station Effiduase polling station ‘A’, 95 people out of 660 had come to vote as of 12am.

From Tema in the Greater Accra Region, Godfred Blay Gibbah, reported that a visit to some of the polling stations in Tema indicated that turn up was generally low.

At the Republic Road Electoral Area, records from one of the nine centres showed that 27 out of 462 registered voters had cast their ballot as at 8:58 am.

There was no queue but Election officials and Agents for candidates were seen sitting idle.Six policemen were present and no incident had occurred.

Clement Adzei Boye, reported from Anaji West that voting in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region began at 7 am without the usual hustle and bustle characteristic of general elections.

The usual tension, suspense and anxieties, and sometimes confusion which occurred during elections were conspicuously absent yesterday making election officers to virtually have a ‘holiday’.

Although, in  most  polling stations, electoral  officers  had by 5.45am set  up their booths, most  polling stations were without the heavy and  long  queues experienced during partisan  elections.

Grace Senam Klay reported from Ho that there has been low turnout at the District Assembly and Unit Committee elections in Ho.

As at 9:15am when Ghanaian Times visited the GBC Revenue polling station within the Ho Central Electoral Area, only five people out of 211 registered voters have cast their votes.

A presiding Officer at the Ministry of Agriculture Zone B polling station, Mr. Anthony Alorkpa told the Ghanaian Times that, the turn out for this year’s District election was poor compared to that of 2016.

 YAKUBU ABDUL-MAJEED in TAMALE reported that electorates of the Moshe-Zango Electoral Area in the Tamale metropolitan assembly of the Northern Region have not participated in the yesterday District Assembly’s elections.

This, was as a result of mixed up of the initial number of the Ballot Box of the electoral area.

The acting Northern Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mr. Lucas Yiryeli in an interview with the Ghanaian Times stated that the different Ballot Box was sent to the Moshe-Zango electoral area.

He stressed that the Ballot Box was quickly brought back to the regional office and that his office has communicated to the National headquarters.

The regional director was could not tell when the electorates of the area would cast their as he was waiting for direction from Accra.

He therefore pleaded with the electorates of the Moshe-Zango to bear with the commission as efforts were been made to resolve the issue.

Mr Yiryeli also revealed that 39 electoral areas in the northern region where voting was not taken.

According to him there were unopposed candidates in both Assembly’s and unit committees.

Voting was however, going on peacefully in all other polling stations within Tamale metropolis and Sangnarigu municipality at the time of filling this story.

Security personnel were present at all polling stations that the reporter visited in the region.

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