The Electoral Commission (EC) is to appoint collation officers to undertake the counting of ballot papers and coalition of figures for each polling station, so that returning officers can concentrate on conducting a smooth electoral process.
This, according to Kwame Amoah, Greater Accra Regional Director of the commission, was also to carve out errors by tired returning officers, who would be tasked to perform other assignments on voting day, apart from the collating process.
He disclosed these at a capacity building workshop, organised by the Greater Accra Regional Electoral Commission, on best ways to report on the 2016 polls, for media personnel in the region.
“The commission wants to ensure an effective collation process. Due to the enormity of the task of returning officers, the tendency to commit errors during collation is high. Hence, the appointment of the collation officers to perform that process,” he said.
Mr Amoah noted that this year’s elections was important as it would be expected to build on the country’s democratic gains, and urged the media to be circumspect in their reportage.
He said that the EC had decided to allow the use of manual verification if the biometric verification system fails to verify an electorate on election day.
“The voter will go through a registration process to fully convince the electoral officers of their identity after which they would be allowed to vote,” Mr. Amoah said.
He said that the commission was focused on conducting credible elections though some disqualified presidential candidates had gone to court to seek redress.
Francis Ameyibor, Deputy News Editor, Ghana News Agency, observed that the media was critical in promoting credible and transparent electoral process, and advised practitioners to remain balanced in their reportage.
“For the elections to be a success, we must be careful of our reportage since it has the tendency to whip up the already tensed atmosphere and be the source of violence,” he stressed.
By Claude Nyarko Adams