Accra, Nov. 04, GNA- The Electoral Commission has refuted allegations levelled against it by the National Democratic Congress that the Commission was printing extra ballot papers without the knowledge of the party.
It said such allegations were untrue and should be disregarded by the public.
A statement issued and copied to the Ghana News Agency said it had been a standard practice for the Commission to print ballot papers in excess of five per cent, to cater for instances such as spoilt ballots, adding that this had been the practice since 1992.
“In line with this policy, all Printing Houses have been directed to print the 2020 ballot papers in excess of five per cent for all thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and 38,630 Polling Stations across the country,” the statement said.
It explained that since 1992 Presidential and Parliamentary, ballot papers were printed in booklets of 10, 25, 50, and 100 for all Polling Stations.
As such, the Commission said a Polling Station that had, for instance, 90 voters would be provided with a booklet that contains 100 ballots or two booklets of 50 ballots each as a special booklet could not be printed for that exact number of voters.
“In the scenario above, a booklet cannot be printed for ninety voters. A booklet of 100 ballots will be provided. After adding a contingency of five per cent (5%) to the 90 voters, the number of ballots would increase to some ninety-five (95) ballots.
However, since that Polling Station can only be provided with a booklet that contains 100 ballots, there will be an excess of five ballot papers. This is the situation that pertains in several Polling Stations. This cannot be avoided because it is impossible to print separate booklets for each Polling Station based on the number of registered voters at that particular Polling Station,” it said.
On the issue of the EC not providing political parties with serial numbers, the Commission said that had never been the practice saying it could not generate the serial numbers for all 17 million plus ballot papers.
It said serial numbers were only provided to the Commission and political parties after the completion of each Polling Station’s ballots, to enable the tracking and monitoring of the distribution of the ballots.
The Commission said it, therefore, finds it difficult to understand why the NDC would seek to cause fear and apprehension around a transparent and open process such as the printing of ballots
“This is unacceptable,” it said.
“The Commission assures the citizenry that each ballot paper will be accounted for. Not one ballot paper will be included in a package that has not been accounted for, this will not happen. Our processes are open, transparent, and robust and will remain so,” it added.
It urged the general public to therefore disregard attempts by the NDC to cause fear and panic and heighten tension ahead of the December 2020 elections.