MULTIPLE & UNACCOUNTED REGISTRATIONS IN VOTERS’ REGISTER & 307,000 UNACCOUNTED BALLOT PAPERS PROVIDED OPPORTUNITY FOR IRREGULARITIES – PETITIONERS


Multiple and unaccounted identities in the voters’ register as well as the over 300,000 ballot papers the Electoral Commission could not account for in the course of the ongoing Presidential Election petition, according to the petitioners, provided an opportunity for the various infractions which characterized the 2012 General Elections to occur.

According to the 176 paged address of the petitioners, the EC’s failure to account fully for the 241,524 persons it claims increased the voters’ register from 13,917,366 to 14,158,890 and the several multiple registrations found in the voters’ register served as a conduit to facilitate infractions like over-voting and voting without biometric verification.

Unaccounted Registrations in Voters’ Register 

The petitioners drew the court’s attention to the Electoral Commission’s answers to the petition and subsequent answers to queries on the voters’ register which the EC was unable to substantiate and which clearly proved the huge imperfections with the voters register.

“In its Answer to the Petition, the 2nd respondent provided an initial provisional registration figure of 13,917,366. The 2nd respondent further claimed that after the conduct of registration of Foreign Service officials, students abroad on Government of Ghana scholarship, Ghanaians working abroad in international organizations, and the late registration of foreign personnel returning from international peace-keeping duties, the figure increased to 14,158,890 registered voters. This represented an increase of 241,524 registered voters over the provisional registration figure of 13,917,366.

“The 2nd respondent added that after processing the data to include persons who had been improperly removed from the register and removing names that had been improperly added to the register, the register reduced to 14,031,793. Petitioners requested further and better particulars on the 241,524 registrations 2nd respondent claimed to have conducted of Ghanaians abroad and returning peacekeeping personnel. It is significant that the 2nd respondent was only able to provide 2,883 particulars, leaving a staggering 238,641 entries without particulars and, thus, unaccounted for in the register. It is submitted that the claim of foreign registration accounting for the 241,524 excess entries in the register, following the compilation and publication of the provisional register, was an afterthought intended to mislead this Honourable Court. Simply put, the claim that the excess of 241,524 registrations being attributable to so-called foreign registration was not borne out by the evidence led by 2nd respondent. It is yet another indication of the lack of credibility of 2nd respondent in this Petition. It is submitted that the 238,641 registrations, which could not be identified with particulars of any lawfully registered voters, provides the opportunity for infractions such as over-voting and voting without biometric verification”, the address said.

 

Multiple Registrations

The petitioners also noted the “clear evidence” of an unreliable voters’ register produced and used by the EC for the December 2012 Elections as revealed during the cross examination of Dr. Afari Gyan during the petition hearings.

The petitioners recalled the record of proceedings on 6th June, 2013 when Dr. Afari Gyan admitted 50 instances of multiple registrations in a register of 705 Ghanaians abroad and noted that by extrapolating the same percentage, the full register of 14,031,680 persons could have as much as 1,990,000 double registrations which clearly compromises the elections.

It was also indicated that the failure of the Electoral Commission to provide a provisional register to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the late and piecemeal supply of the final register made it virtually impossible for any scrutiny of the register, and, thereby, contributed substantially in undermining the transparency, fairness and integrity of the December 2012 elections’.

The EC it would be recalled furnished the NPP with the final voters’ register from 19th November to December 2nd, 2012 (4 days to the Election).

Below is an extract from the Address on the Multiple Registrations in the Voters’ Register

It is instructive to note that in the cross-examination of the Chairman of 2nd respondent, Dr. Afari-Gyan, clear evidence of the unreliability of the voters register was established. The voters‟ register was proved to be laden with many cases of multiple registration by individuals. This evidence of multiple registration was illustrated through a reference to the registration of Ghanaians abroad. A list of instances where people registered to vote on multiple times and were issued with different identification cards by the 2nd respondent was prepared and questions asked of Dr. Afari-Gyan by counsel for petitioners on 6th June, 2013.

At pages 35-38 of the record of proceedings, the evidence on this was set out.

In all, out of 705 people allegedly registered abroad by 2nd respondent, 50 cases of multiple registrations were admitted to by Dr. Afari-Gyan. This constitutes approximately 14% of the number of people allegedly registered abroad. If in just a list of 705 people registered abroad, 50 cases of double registration can be found, then extrapolating the same percentage in respect of the total voters register of 14,031,680 will result in a figure of some 1,990,000 double registration.

It is submitted that the double registrations effected by the 2nd respondent was due to the manner in which the registration of voters was done, whereby nobody could even determine the exact number of total registered voters in Ghana as of December, 2012. The 2nd respondent‟s failure to furnish the NPP with the provisional register and the late and piecemeal supply of the certified register disabled the NPP from scrutinizing in detail the voters register. The numbers on which the 2nd respondent was going to rely in the conduct of the December 2012 polls kept changing so much that 2nd respondent even claimed to have made a mistake in the figure it used in the declaration of the results on 9th December, 2012.

 

Ballot Papers Printed by 2nd Respondent

The petitioners also mentioned the failure of the Electoral Commission to account for over 307,000 ballot papers per the breakdown provided by the EC Chairman during the trial. This together with the evidence on the face of the pink sheets being relied upon by the petitioners which shows that an extremely large number were printed relative to the registered voters provided the means for irregularities and various violations.

Below is an Extract on the Unaccounted Ballot Papers in the Address of the Petitioners

The Chairman of the 2nd respondent denied the petitioners claim that the ballots printed for the 2012 elections were some 100% more than the total number of registered voters, way above the 10% margin that was communicated by the 2nd respondent to the NPP and other political parties. Dr. Afari Gyan maintained that the total number of ballots printed for the election was 15,434,968. This was captured in the record of the proceedings on the 11th of  June 2013, at pages 3 to 5. During cross-examination by counsel for the petitioners, Dr. Afari-Gyan provided a breakdown of the ballots printed as follows:

  • Booklets of 100 ballots – 141,597 = 14,159,700
  • Booklets of 50 ballots – 12,627 = 631,350
  • Booklets of 25 ballots – 38,041 = 951,025

It is clear that the evidence of Dr. Afari Gyan on this issue was not truthful. This is because if one adds up the total number of ballots printed from the breakdown he provided, it amounts to 15,742,075. This figure is 307,107 higher than the 15,434,968 number he provided as the total ballots printed. In an election where the margin of difference is in the region of 320,000, Dr Afari-Gyan‟s inability to account for 307,107 ballots is very significant. The pink sheets in evidence also support the petitioners‟ claim that an inordinately large number of ballots were printed relative to the number of registered voters in the 10,119 polling stations in contention. Summing up the ballots issued to the polling stations in column A1 of the pink sheets which petitioners are relying on results in a total number of 10,245,680.

This means that if the 2nd respondent printed 15,434,968 ballots as they claim, then they only had a balance of 5,189,288 ballots for the remaining 15,883 polling stations. This would be clearly insufficient. The evidence provided by Dr. Afari Gyan is therefore not credible.

As was the case with the voters register, the 2nd respondent was unable to provide consistent figures on the number of ballots printed for the 2012 presidential election. An inordinately large number of ballots relative to registered voters provides the opportunity for violations, malpractices and irregularities such as over-voting, and voting without biometric verification.

Petitioners’ Case

The petitioners are seeking a declaration from the court that John Dramani Mahama was not validly elected President of the Republic of Ghana and a further declaration that Nana Akufo-Addo was rather validly elected as President.

In all, the petitioners are seeking the court to annul 3,931,339 votes from the 10,119 polling stations where various constitutional and statutory violations and irregularities marred the conduct and outcome of the elections as is evidenced on the face of pink sheets (Statement of Poll & Declaration of Result Forms) from those polling stations and which have been proven to have been filed by the petitioners in the KPMG Report and from the exhibits used by the respondents in their cross – examination of 2nd Petitioner, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.

When annulled, 2,622,551 votes will have to be annulled from the declared votes of John Mahama while 1,233,186 will have to be deducted from the vote total of Nana Akufo-Addo. These deductions would see John Mahama having 41.79% of the valid votes cast while Nana Akufo-Addo would have 56.85%.

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