Tuesday, November 30, 2021

EC outlines voters’ role during elections

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The Electoral Commission (EC) has outlined some rules voters need to stick to during the December 7, 2020, general elections.

Speaking on the duties of voters in the upcoming general elections as stipulated in EC Election 2020 Guide to Voters, Mr Kwame Amoah, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the EC  said that, “a voter is expected to respect the rights of other voters at all times.”

He explained that voters are to adhere to the tenets of good democratic and electoral principles, which demanded utmost recognition of the right to the peaceful and orderly conduct of the election, the right to make one’s own choice, and the right to cast a secret ballot.

The Greater Accra Regional Director of the EC further warned that forcing an electorate to vote in a particular way, impede or prevent a voter from freely exercising his or her right to vote is classified as an electoral offence.

“To give or receive money or something of value as a means of persuading a person to vote or not to vote in a certain way; to canvass for votes or seek to find out how a person intends to vote within five hundred meters of a polling station is an election offence.

“Putting anything other than a ballot paper into a ballot box when an election was in progress and forging printing or be in possession of a ballot paper without lawful authority forms part of the electoral offences in our law,”

He said it was the responsibility of a voter to call the attention of the Presiding Officer to anything that was considered to be irregular and if possible give a written account of the irregularity to the Presiding Officer or a higher election official.

On the dos and don’ts on Election Day, Mr. Amoah said it was an affront to electoral rules for a voter to wear any dress or take anything whatsoever to the polling station that identifies a voter with a particular candidate or party “it is an offence that attracts severe punishment”.

“A voter is not required to inspect the Identity Card of persons who are in the queue to vote. A Voter has a right to tell the Presiding Officer of any objections one has against any person in relation to the election but not to directly confront these persons.”

Mr Amoah said according to the EC rules a voter cannot give orders to the election staff or in any way interfere with or disrupt electoral work such as taking part in the actual administration of the election including; the counting of votes after the close of polls, handling any election material and trying to supervise the work of the polling staff.

 

Source: GNA

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