The Electoral Commission (EC) has described the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections as the most successful, well-coordinated, efficient and seamless elections organised in the history of Ghana.
It noted that the many systems deployed before, during and after the elections enabled the commission to deliver successful elections compared to previous ones.
Speaking at a three-day high-level stakeholder post-election review workshop on the 2020 general election, the Director of Training at the Electoral Commission, Mr Michael Boadu said among the many measures put in place by the EC was the increase in the number of polling stations by 10,000 compared to 2016.
It was organised by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) at the Aqua Safari Resort at Ada in the Greater Accra Region,
Mr Boadu explained that for the first time, the EC deployed electoral materials including biometric voter devices, voters register, ballot papers among other logistics to the districts two weeks before the conduct of elections as against the situation in the past where the materials for the conduct of elections were distributed 24 hours to the opening of polls.
He said the EC also compiled a new register amid the COVID-19 pandemic within record time, adding that in spite of the challenges that came with those arrangements, the EC was able to reduce the cost of elections per voter from $13 in 2016 to $7.1 in 2020.
Mr Boadu said the EC was working to further reduce the cost per voter to $5 for the 2024 elections to conform to international standards.
A Deputy Campaign Manager for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2020 election, Dr Alex Segbefia, however, challenged the EC’s assertion of delivering free and fair elections.
He said a number of issues were poorly handled by the EC, citing the failure to account for ballots, disenfranchisement of the people of Santrokofi, Akpafu, Likpe and Lolobi on the eve of election, the use of state security to intimidate voters as some of the negative elements of the 2020 election.
He indicated that the NDC was in the process of completing a thorough review of the 2020 election and when done, it would table a number of reforms that ought to be carried out going into the 2024 general election.
Room for improvement
While agreeing with the EC assessment of the 2020 general election, the Campaign Manager of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Mac Manu, said the EC must review the structure and system of the collation of results to reduce tension and violence.
He opined that although the level of collation of results was reduced to constituencies, the collation of results from polling stations could further take place at electoral area levels before being submitted at the constituency collation centres to avoid over-crowding and its attendant issues of commotion and violence.