Report by: Ben LARYEA
As part of the initiatives for monitoring, analyzing and mitigating voting process as well as contributing to a peaceful and credible election, the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP) in collaboration with the National Peace Council has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to take a second look at the new colour of the verification stamp as well as the challenges around the BVD to reassure voter confidence in the process.
Consequently, it has advised the EC to adequately increase the National Election Security Task to beef up security presence in all electoral areas to maintain law and order to allow voting process to proceed unhindered.
This came to the fore based on reports received from deployed Election observers under the Electoral Violence Monitoring Analysis and Mitigation (EMAM) to the Election situation room in Accra.
Touching on some security incidents in Talensi District in the Upper East Region at the Buugu Primary School, a group of voters jumped queue leading to scuffle and physical attacks and also a clash between NDC and NPP supporters in the Jomoro in Western Region Old Local Council Zongo Benkyem.
Adding, A01150 resulted in the blocking of roads and the welding of cutlasses to intimidate each other as well as shouting No Road, No Vote in whindo, a suburb of Effia-Kweshimintim Municipal Assembly delaying the start of voting.
Turning the spotlight on technical incidents, the ESR said the use of different colour validation stamp instead of the usual stamp used by the EC in previous elections raised suspicions among some voters, noting that manual verification was not allowed and as a result some voter were turned away at the Odododiodio Constituency at Sempe Mantse palace polling station.
At the Prempeh College polling station in Kumasi, the application of hand sanitier is reported to be affecting the usage of the BVD while at the Adentan Complex School polling station, the ballot box did not have the log of the EC as the party Agents did not also have their names on the accreditation and a voter also took a picture of his ballot and was arrested.
Due to the late opening of the polling station, some voters were transferred to another polling station to cast their votes in the Nyyiaeso Constituency in the Kumasi Metropolitan district.
According to the observers check list, there was high adherence to Covid-19 protocols across the polling stations.