93.3 per cent of polling stations were accessible to PWDs – CODEO

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has reported that 93.3 per cent of polling stations in the just ended District Level Elections (DLEs) were accessible to Persons With Disability (PWDs) and the elderly.

The Coalition deployed 800 Stationary Polling Station Observers and 300 Roaming Observers, nationwide, who submitted a situational statement from 98 per cent of the 800 stationary polling stations observed.

A statement signed and copied to the Ghana News Agency by Mr Albert Arhin, the National Coordinator of CODEO, said the Coalition observed that there were candidates’ agents present for the DLEs in 92.4 per cent of polling stations observed.

Regarding the Unit Committee Elections, they also found candidates’ agents in 43.1 per cent of polling stations while majority of the polling stations (56.9 per cent) did not have agents for candidates.

It noted that 92.8 per cent of the polling stations observed were set up in a manner that ensured voters could mark their ballots in secret, but seven per cent were not.

CODEO Observers also reported that they were allowed to observe the elections at all polling stations by poll officials.

A majority (88.4 per cent) of polling stations observed opened between the 0715 hours to 0800 hours, the statement said, adding that one in 10 (10.7 per cent) opened between the 0801 hours to 1000 hours, while 1.0 per cent either opened after the 1000 hours or had not opened as at the time the Observers sent their reports.      

It said at the time of the setting up of the polling stations, all materials needed for the elections were available in half (50.2 %) of polling stations.

Observers reported unavailability of the following voting materials in some polling stations at the time of set-up.

Ballot Box (4.1 % of polling stations), Ballot Papers (3.7 per cent of polling stations), indelible Ink (4.7 per cent), Voting Screen (4.0 per cent), Validation Stamp (3.7 per cent), Ink Pad (3.6 per cent) Endorsing Ink (4.0 per cent), and Tactile Ballot Papers (19.98 per cent).

The statement said in three-quarters of the polling stations (72.9 per cent) CODEO observers saw stationed uniformed personnel.

However, a quarter (21.1 per cent) of polling stations had no stationed uniformed security personnel, it said.    

CODEO Observers reported that poll officials generally adhered to polling station set-up and opening protocols.

At 97.6% of polling stations, ballot boxes were shown to be empty, sealed,

and placed in the public view before voting commenced.

However, in 2.4% of polling stations, this standard practice was not followed by election officials, the statement said.

Source: GNA

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