The Director of Elections for the National Democratic Congress, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, has shot down claims made by the Electoral Commission’s Chairperson, Jean Mensa, on delivering election results within 24 hours.
Citing reasons of possible tensions being sparked as a result, Mr. Ankrah, in addressing the media, explained that, the Returning Officer for the presidential election, Jean Mensa, must certify results from the 275 constituencies before announcing the winner of the polls.
With processes involved in delivering the presidential result, the NDC’s Director of Elections noted that Madam Jean Mensa cannot act out of the system which has been tested over the years.
“After the close of polls, the ballots are sorted and counted at every polling station and then signed by both the party agents and the Presiding Officer. When that is done, the results of the polling stations are now sent to the constituency collation centre for the collation of same in the constituency by the constituency’s Returning Officer. Before the Returning Officer can declare the results, the officer must see all the individual results from all the polling stations.
“Therefore, before the Electoral Commissioner who is the Returning Officer for the presidential elections declares the results, she must have received all the results from all the 275 constituencies… and certify that what she has is truly what happened with the signatures of all the political party agents. That is what happens and it is the proper time tested system over the years, so one does not just wake up and say that we will announce just any results in 24 hours just to set a record”.
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa swore to announce presidential results 24 hours after polls close, while interacting with the Council of State on Friday, November 20, 2020.
“We are promoting some efficiency into the system. We have worked with our numbers, and we have a duration within which the results should be transmitted. We are expecting that by the next day, we should be able to declare the results. We do not intend to go beyond 24 hours. And we are confident that God being our helper, because of the efficiency we have introduced into the processes, we should be able to declare results within 24 hours.”
Corroborating her stance on the issue, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, the Director of Electoral Services, in an interview said plans were underway to ensure there is no undue delay 24 hours after polls close.
“All things being equal, we are hoping that before we go to bed on the 8th of December, we would have come out with the presidential results.
“The polling stations will submit the results to the constituency, the constituency will send their results to the region and the region will fax the results to us.
Additionally, he explained provisions have been made to curtail challenges with getting electoral materials back from some remote areas.
“In the constituencies, they either use motorbikes, boat or canoes, some use ‘aboboya’, so each district have their own plan to achieve the target. They have submitted their request in terms of logistics and we are working on them.
“We are expecting that before you go to bed on the December 7, the district and constituencies should have completed their work and when that is done by mid, on December 8, the information should be hitting the head office”.