AFRICA

Ghana’s early voting and the case of missing names

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Ghana’s early voting started off with great expectations under the new Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei. The commission assured the public of it’s preparedness for the special voting exercise, but in reality the voters register for the special voters was bungled.

Hundreds of security officials, electoral commission staff and media personnel showed up at their polling stations and were unable to find their names on the voters register. They were given the runaround by the electoral commission and were told by presiding officers to go where they originally registered to cast their votes.

Over 127,000 people were expected to take part in this early voting exercise but with reports from across the country it appears  a huge number of the early voters may be disenfranchised.

The biggest surprise was revealed when an official of the electoral commission could not find his name at the polling station where he went to vote.

Frustrated voters suggested that the EC should have displayed the names on the voters register, weeks preceding the elections so that voters could confirm if their names were on the list, and sought recourse if it wasn’t.

Some of the security officials threatened to leave their post and go vote on election day if they could not vote during the special voting exercise.

The EC has meanwhile urged the special voters who did not find their names on the register to remain calm. It is not clear how they intend to solve this problem.

Meanwhile, voting ended at the polling stations with hundreds of special voters still left in the dark about their options.

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