Tag Archives: Electoral Commission

Removing Figure Mutations In Presidential Elections In Ghana


Background

The 1992 Constitution of Ghana directs the Electoral Commission to treat the entire national presidential election as if it were a single constituency with the Chairman of the Commission as the Returning Officer. Thus, unlike the parliamentary election results which are independently declared at all the 275 constituencies, the presidential election results across the country are lumped together for eventual gazetting by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. The parliamentary election results, on the other hand, are disaggregated into independent constituencies for eventual gazetting by the District Electoral Officers who are representatives of the Chairman of the Electoral Commission.

Regrettably, a number of disputes associated with the correctness of constituency presidential election result figures incorporated into the overall declared and gazetted presidential results has arisen since the inception of the Fourth Republic.

Many sources of these errors have been identified and reported over the years. Significant among them include transmogrifications of faxed figures from some constituencies to the “Strong Room” of the Commission during collation. Only recently, in the 2012 general elections, Hon. Adwoa Safoa, Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, with her vigilance and trained eyes, identified a whopping 15,000 (fifteen thousand) votes slashed from the votes obtained by the New Patriotic Party’s presidential candidate in the constituency. In other instances the two leading parties, NDC and NPP, fell victim to such crude electoral discrepancies.

Interestingly these errors are almost nonexistent in parliamentary election results which follow a more decentralized model that allows internal auditing of all potential human errors prior to declaration of the election results.

The Way Forward

To minimize errors and doubts in the declared presidential election results, the IND will like to make the following recommendations for improvement of our future presidential elections in the country:

1. Similar to the parliamentary elections, the presidential election results should be independently declared at all Constituencies and the results gazetted and signed by the representative of the Electoral Commission, preferably the District Electoral Officer.

2. The constituency gazetted presidential results should be endorsed by representatives of all political parties involved in the election.

3. The gazetted results should be published on public or general notice boards at the District or Constituency Offices of the Electoral Commission.

4. Copies of the constituency gazetted presidential results should be made available to the political party representatives and also announced to the general public and the members of the press.

5. All the declaration stages should be in-camera and the recordings saved for future references. Copies of the recordings should be distributed to all political parties present at the collation.

6. The Electoral Commission will then aggregate all the gazetted presidential results from the 275 constituencies to produce the combined national presidential results which will then be declared, gazetted and signed by the Chairman of the Electoral Commission. Once the results have been gazetted at various constituencies, the overall results which is a mere arithmetic of the constituency results could be easily accomplished. The Commission will in essence be under no pressure of time or transparency to declare the national presidential election results. Other independent bodies including political parties could easily verify such results by aggregating the published results at all the constituencies in the country.

Conclusion

Presidential results, when processed taking into consideration the above recommendations, will no longer be threatened by the election results figure mutations that have plagued the country’s Electoral system over the years.

By allowing constituencies to own their own electoral results, whether parliamentary or presidential, through decentralized gazetting, electoral flaws connected to the transfer of election results from the constituencies to the Central Office or Strong Room of the Electoral Commission will be totally eliminated.

An added advantage of such a system would be preservation of the original and unadulterated presidential and parliamentary results at the Constituency or District offices. Thus, the Constituency/District Office will serve as the repository of original presidential and parliamentary election results in such constituencies where disputed results could be verified and authenticated.

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NPP Chairman Writes to EC Chairman


9th September 2013

THE CHAIRMAN

ELECTORAL COMMISSION

ACCRA – GHANA

Dear Sir,

We have noted the call to political parties by the Electoral Commission (E.C.) for recommendations to reform and improve our electoral process.

We are responding to what was carried by the media, specifically the Daily Graphic, as we are yet to receive any other request.

Based on the above we want the call to be widened. Our democracy belongs to all of us, not only the political parties.

While these parties may be the most directly affected by the process and therefore can be assumed to know more about the weaknesses in our current system, we cannot presume to be sole sources of ideas on how to create a system that will allow every qualified voter the opportunity to vote, vote once only and  have that vote correctly declared and properly used in amalgamating the total votes necessary to elect a public officer; A system that will produce election results accepted by every participant. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

17 PINK SHEETS EXPOSE EC, RESPONDENTS ON SERIAL NUMBERS, SAYS PETITIONERS


The petitioners in the Presidential Election Petition have reiterated that the malpractice in the use of duplicate serial numbers was compounded by evidence establishing the existence of pink sheets with triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers that were used for the December 2012 presidential election.

In the “written address of counsel for the petitioners”, they explain that “the critical importance of serial numbers as a security feature which prevented electoral fraud, the swapping of one pink sheet for another and the manipulation of results on pink sheets became manifest” during the cross-examination of Dr Afari Gyan when he was confronted with 17 pink sheets bearing triplicate and quadruplicate serial numbers. Continue reading

PETITIONERS SUPPORTED BY THE NUMBERS – EACH CATEGORY IS ENOUGH TO BRING MAHAMA DOWN


The Petitioners in the Presidential Election Petition have proven to the Court in their written address that any one of the four main categories of irregularities, if sustained by the Court, is enough to invalidate the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December Presidential Elections.

In their written submissions, the petitioners restricted themselves to 10,119 polling stations on which they relied on to make an analysis of the impact of the various statutory and constitutional violations and irregularities the petitioners are seeking the court to sustain.

The petitioners indicate that they decided to rely on 10,119 polling stations because it is those polling stations that fit the strict criteria set. The address states: Continue reading

EC ADMITS IRREGULARITIES OCCURRED IN 2012 ELECTIONS


The Electoral Commission has stated in its written address that irregularities, indeed, did occur in the conduct of the 2012 elections, however, they are of the opinion that these irregularities did not affect the results as declared by the Chairman, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan. However, the EC in its address did not attach any annexures of its analysis to show that, indeed the irregularities did not affect the results of the 2012 elections.

The “Address filed on behalf of the 2nd Respondent” is contained in 15 pages, a clear improvement over the 5-page affidavit sworn to by Amadu Sule, in response to the 2nd Amended petition of the petitioners. Continue reading

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