Referendum: CODEO Observers Record Massive Electoral Anomalies

Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), said its election observers have recorrec a number of electoral anomalies during the referendum held for the creatures of new regions.

It said these anomalies raise serious questions about the integrity and credibility of the polling process in the observed polling stations.

In a press statement pointingpout the key findings from CODEO’s observation, it said the atmosphere of voting was generally calm across all polling stations observed whilst voting opened on time for many polling stations, and slightly later at other polling stations
(particularly in parts of the Western and Brong Ahafo regions) due to the late arrival of voting materials).

But it stated that most polling stations observed attained more than the required turn-out threshold of 50% of total valid votes cast.

“However, turn-out figures at some polling stations were unusually
high – in some cases as high as 99% – raising serious questions about the integrity of the process.”

It averted that for most of the day, CODEO observers reported the smooth functioning of Biometric Verification Devices (BVD), with very few instances of reported malfunctioning of the BVDs but CODEO observers documented wide disparities and unusually high numbers of manual verification across various polling stations observed.

“At some polling stations where counting of ballots and results declaration were observed by CODEO, the number of voters who were manually verified were found to be more than the number of voters who went through biometric verification. Per electoral regulations by the Electoral Commission (EC), manual verification is typically a back-up plan for instances where there are challenges with biometric verification of voters and/or mal-function of the devices,” it stated. 

According TO CODEOC  given that observers generally reported smooth performance of the BVDs and the fact that all polling stations were equipped with back-up BVD machines, it cannot understund why the unusually high numbers of voters were manually verified instead of biometric verification.

“CODEO has taken notice of a number of videos circulating on social media platforms showing possible infractions of the electoral rules of the country. Although CODEO is unable to verify the location of the alleged infractions or the authenticity of the videos, CODEO strongly urges the EC and the Police Service to take an interest in these videos and conduct their own investigations to protect the integrity of the process,” it said. 

It also indicated that it has taken note of the concerns raised by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) on restrictions placed by the security forces during the referendum exercise.

This, it said, was reportedly done to protect journalists from threats of harm from indigenous and that  the GJA, the security agencies and all elections stakeholders revisit these issues following the conclusion of the exercise to ensure that constitutional rights are
protected in the future to promote more transparent, peaceful and credible elections.
 It calldd on the Electoral Commission (EC) to urgently look into the extremely high incidence of manual verification at the various polling stations where such developments took place, and the extremely high voter turn-out figures in some polling stations.

“CODEO is also calling on the EC and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to ensure that any person–including electoral officials – found to have violated the electoral laws face the full rigors of the law. Until individuals are held criminally accountable for their actions, it will be difficult to deter the rampant violations of electoral laws which risk undermining Ghana’s hard worn democratic stability.”




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *