740,000 Surplus Ballots for Special Election

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The National Elections Commission (NEC) yesterday announced that it has brought into the country an excess of 740,000 ballot papers for the conduct of the ensuing Special Senatorial Election.

Addressing a news conference at the Commission’s headquarters, Chairman Jerome Korkoya disclosed that 2,640,000 ballot papers arrived in the country last Friday for the purpose of conducting the poll.

According to him, the over two million ballot papers will be matched against the 1.9 million registered voters across the country.

Though there was no reason provided for the “huge” excess, Chairman Korkoya said that election ballots, which were procured in Ghana “are currently in secured storage under protection of state securities.” 

He continued, “Deployment of ballot papers and other sensitive election materials to the 1,780 polling precincts nationwide will commence on December 13, 2014. I am pleased to announce that 5000 election kits procured internationally have arrived in the country. Packaging of these materials to the various county warehouses will commence on November 23, 2014. Deployment of polling kits to the various polling precincts will begin on December 13, 2014.

“In order to be on schedule, NEC has recruited 400 electoral supervisors while recruitment of 24,622 polling staff is ongoing,” the NEC said.

Relative to measures taken against the spread of Ebola, Chairman Korkoya announced that, “All voters and polling staff will be required to wash their hands with chlorinated water at all precincts; voters will be required and provisions will be made to ensure that they stand three feet apart in queues at all polling centers on election day.”

Furthermore, NEC pointed out that voters will be required to use cotton buds to ink their thumbs before marking the ballot since they will not share pens.  However, voters are encouraged to bring personal pens or where necessary, the Commission will provide pens in polling booths that will be routinely sanitized.

The Commission announced that it has received applications from 10 international organizations for accreditation of 275 observers. Also, 16 national and domestic observer groups have been accredited. Accreditations are being printed along with other materials for agents of political parties and candidates as well as media representatives.

Meanwhile, in two successive presidential elections, CDC in particular had complained of ballot stuffing, questioning the credibility of the process. However, said claims are yet to be independently verified.

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