NO fewer than 109,557 people made up of security persons, media practitioners and Electoral Commission’s (EC) staff took part in Ghana’s special voting which kicked-off smoothly yesterday in the 275 centres across the nation.
The voters, according to officials of the EC, will be engaged in official duties during the December 7 general elections. They may not be able to exercise their voting rights.
It was gathered that voting began in most centres and that the special voters were observing the COVID-19 safety protocols.
EC’s chairperson Mrs. Jean Mensa said yesterday that she and her team were expecting close to 100 per cent voter turnout in the special voting exercise.
Mrs. Mensa told reporters: “We expect a near 100 percent turnout and are confident that the outcome will be peaceful, credible, transparent and orderly, God being our helper.”
She assured that polling officers had been recruited and trained, and that all materials had been distributed in sufficient quantities and biometric verification devices (BVDs) prepared and deployed.
“In total, 109,557 people, made up of security persons, media people and staff of the EC, applied to take part in the exercise in the 275 constituencies. It is instructive to note that this is the highest number the commission has recorded for special voting in its history.”
The election process was being done under strict COVID-19 protocols, as buckets, temperature guns and hand sanitizers were provided by the EC.
Local media reported in Kwadaso in the Ashanti region that a number of security personnel who came to vote could not find their names in the register and had to return home.
The parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress for the area, Eric Assibey, intervened by asking the presiding officer, Mrs. Thelma Annan, to allow them to vote.
Mrs. Anna declined, saying they would have the chance to vote on Election Day.
The NPP parliamentary candidate, Dr. Kingsley Nyarko, and his NDC counterpart, Mr. Assibey described the process as smooth and peaceful.
In Bolgatanga, 5,948 eligible voters were expected to take part in the special voting in the 15 constituencies of the Upper East Region.
Ghana’s Inspector-General Police (IGP) James Oppong Boanuh, who also cast his ballot at the Trade Fair site special voting centre in the capital, Accra, lauded the EC for the “smooth process”.
“The electoral officers are doing their work well, and I went through the system and it was so smooth. I urge everybody to come and cast their votes,” said the police boss.