The Electoral Commission (EC) is anticipating a fast-paced election on Monday, characterised by shorter queues, quick voting process and timely collation of results.
A Deputy EC Chairperson, Dr Eric Bossman Asare said this would be possible due to the reduction of the number of voters at polling stations, efficiency of biometric verification machines and the declaration of the day as a holiday.
Speaking at a media interaction with the National Election Response Group (NERG) of the National Peace Council (NPC) in Accra on Thursday, he said these measures would aid the declaration of results within 24 hours.
Organised by NPC, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) and other partners in Accra on Thursday, it was meant to give journalists clarity on the preparations for the eighth election in the country’s Fourth Republic.
Explaining the factors to quicken the process, Dr Asare said the maximum number of registered voters in a polling station was 749 and the lowest about six with almost 73 per cent of polling stations having between six to 500 voters.
“What this means is that we do not expect anyone to be in the queue for long. As observed in the special voting, centres that had 600 voters had 80 per cent of them voting around 1:00 pm.
“Looking at how our verification machines are working excellently, within 20 seconds the voter should be verified. We are not expecting long queues. The day being a holiday also means that all those who go to the station early in the morning will, at most within one hour, would have cast their votes,” he said.
On the declaration of results within 24 hours, Dr Asare said, the EC chairperson, the returning officer of the presidential elections would only collate results from the 16 regions after the various regional collation centres had finished their work.
He said it was expected that between 5: 00pm and about 7: 00pm, counting should be completed in almost 70 per of polling stations to aid collation and declaration of the results.
“But this is not cast in stone, we are not saying that by any means necessary the results are going to be declared within 24 hours. When we have the results we have no business siting, sleeping, dining or wining on the results,” he said.
According to Dr Asare, logistics including ballot boxes and papers and registers for all 38,622 polling stations had been dispatched, while each station had been assigned six officials out of the 233,000 officials trained to quicken the process.
He said the commission was ready to deliver credible and safe elections and urged all stakeholders to respect electoral rules as well as observe the COVID-19 health protocols at the polling stations.
The Chairperson of the NPC Board, Dr Rev. Ernest Adu Gyamfi urged the media to verify information before they publish them in order not to plunder the country into chaos.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR