EC Publishes Special Voting List But Hides 30, 000 Deleted Names

Madam Jane Mensah, EC Chairperson Madam Jane Mensah, EC Chairperson

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, has published the Special Voting list for individuals who will vote early on Tuesday, December 1, as a result of their duties on Election Day; December 7, 2020, but strangely the same institution, has ignored demands on it to publish the names of over 30,000 prospective voters it deleted for various reason.

What is interesting is that years ago, the EC, had gotten people prosecuted and jailed over multiple registration, but this time around, it was only mentioned and details remain unknown.

The Special Voting covers security personnel, media personnel and election officials, who will be unable to vote at the polling stations where they registered on the day of the general election slated for December 7, 2020.

It also captures polling stations across the 16 regions of the country and the 'Name Reference List' comes with a warning for individuals to desist from making extracts or copies without written permission from the EC.

The results of the Special Voting (which is only allowed for general elections) will, however, not be declared until after the general election.

The compilation of the Special Voting list which began on October 2, 2020, concluded on Thursday, October 15, 2020.

There were over 127,000 special voters for the 2016 election.

Ahead of the special voting, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) called on Jean Mensah-led ECto publish the details of over 30,000 voters whose names were deleted from the voters' register for breaching registration regulations.

Even the flagbearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC ), John Dramani Mahama, had also demanded a publication of the names and details of the 30,000 names.

The affected persons were said to have engaged in multiple registrations or were challenged and not cleared by the various district review committees.

They would, therefore, not be able to take part in the December 7 polls and further barred from registering as voters for a period of time.

But the move according to the NCCE, will help avoid chaos on Election Day.

The chairperson for the NCCE, Josephine Nkrumah, made the call when she addressed Parliament last week Thursday as part of stakeholders preparations for elections.

Josephine Nkrumah, also disclosed that her outfit is rolling out massive voter education to address the phenomenon of rejected ballots which she believes can push the presidential elections to a runoff.

Commenting on the development during a special sitting of parliament with critical state institutions on the 2020 polls, the Chairperson of the NCCE, charged the EC to publish the deleted names, arguing that would ensure that those affected can seek redress.

"A lot of these names, about 16,000 of them are not even aware that on the day of voting they will get to the polling station and most likely be turned away. What we do at that critical time is of utmost importance," she said.

Announcing the deletion of the names in October, the spokesperson of the electoral management body, Sylvia Annor, explained that the names of about 30,000 registered voters had been deleted or expunged from the provisional voters' register, because they were either on the exceptions lists or the multiple lists.

"The multiple lists are made up of names of all those who engaged in double voting during the voter's registration exercise," she said.

In the meantime, the EC, rejected claims that it disrespected Parliament by snubbing the lawmaking chamber's invitation to present its roadmap for the conduct of election 2020.

Billed to brief Members of Parliament (MPs) by the Commission preparedness level towards peaceful and successful polls, Chairperson, Jean Mensah, failed to show up, forcing the suspension of sitting by Speaker Prof Mike Oquaye.

But in a statement on Thursday, November 5, 2020, the EC disputed the assertion that it had disrespected Parliament.

According to the election management body, it received the invitation to brief Parliament late on Wednesday.

"The Commission is greatly surprised by this turn of events as notice of the said meeting reached it late Wednesday, November 4, 2020, at a time when some Commission members were outside Accra. This was communicated to the Leadership of Parliament.

"…the Chairperson of the Commission, has never turned down an invitation of the August House. The Commission and its Leadership view Parliament as an important democratic institution and have always fully cooperated with Honourable members," the statement said.

Source: www.theheraldghana.com