BARRING any impediment, results for the 2020 Presidential elections will be announced 24 hours after polls, the Electoral Commission (EC) has said.
According to the Director of Electoral Services at the Commission, Dr Serebour Quaicoe the EC was determined to declare the results by the time Ghanaians go to sleep on December 8.
Speaking with the Ghanaian Times at the sidelines of an election conference orgainsed by the STAR Ghana Foundation and the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra yesterday, he said the Commission had made all the necessary provisions to make sure the declaration of the results was not delayed.
He explained that, “It is about planning and putting in place the mechanisms in terms of logistics, because, normally, within two hours of elections, results are declared. What is left is how to convey the results from the various points to the collation centres.”
To this end, he said the Commission had tasked the districts officers to put in place the logistical requirements for movement of the results to the collation centres, adding that “Even if it demands that we airlift them, we will do that.”
Similarly, the Deputy Commissioner at the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Eric Bossman Asare in an interview on TV3 said, “The Commission is working assiduously to ensure that the results (of the Presidential elections) are released within 24 hours of the voting.”
“So, all the places that are remote which will require some special accommodation so that we can get the results in time, the Commission is putting all measures in place. We have identified all the remote areas and given them the necessary support so that we can get the results in time,” he added.
He hinted that, usually when results of elections were delayed, the atmosphere became tensed with panic among the citizenry, and said, “We are determined that everything is done properly.”
Regarding voting, he said “Electorates can only vote at their registered polling centres, and there’s a robust system is in place which will not allow people to vote outside their polling centres.”
The Commission, according to Dr Bossman Asare would have at least six electoral officers and one Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ambassador at each polling station to ensure that all safety protocols of the disease were adhered to.
He said that all political parties would be provided with manuals to train their agents to understand the electoral processes to make their work and that of the EC smooth and effective on the day of voting.
Dr Asare also said the threshold for polling stations had been reduced to accommodate up to 500 or less electorates at a time, with the exception of about 4 per cent polling stations which would have a maximum of 749 voters.
This year’s parliamentary and presidential elections would come off on December 7, just as the previous elections but at a time that the country has joined other parts of the world in battling the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Twelve candidates are in the race for the seat at the presidency.
BY FRANCIS NTOW