The Electoral Commission (EC) has insisted that its target to declare the 2020 presidential results within 24 hours after the close of polls on 7 December is possible.
Northern Regional Director of the EC Mr. Lucas Yiryil indicated that measures taken by the country’s election management body make the anticipated declaration achievable.
He said the number of polling stations in the country has been increased compared to the previous general election in 2016.
Accordingly, Mr Yiryil added that the voter population in each polling station nationwide has also been reduced drastically.
He pointed out that no polling station will have number of voters above 750 with about 80% of the centres having 500 or less voters across the country.
In view of this, Mr Yiryil said this will make the process of voting and collation of results very easy.
The Director of Elections of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Elvis Afriyie Ankrah at a news conference last Wednesday questioned the capacity of the EC to declare the presidential results in 24 hours and described the move as unrealistic.
He cautioned the unperturbed EC not to hasten to make any declaration that, in NDC’s opinion will cause confusion and chaos in the country.
However, in an exclusive interview with THE CUSTODIAN on the sidelines of a workshop organised by the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) in partnership with the EC last Thursday in Tamale for Journalists from the Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, North East and Oti Regions on Elections Monitoring, the EC Regional Director dismissed NDC’s assertions.
According to him, what used to delay the process was the higher numbers at the polling stations.
“So with this lower number of voters per centre, we would not delay in the sorting, counting and announcing of the results at the polling station; that used to delay the process because if you were going to process about 2,000 votes or more and you are now going to process 400 with the same number of officials that used to handle the polling stations.
“We used to have huge numbers (1,000, 1,200 or 2,000) but right now we have set a limit and no polling station has more than 750 voters and all those above that we have divided them or split it into two now. So a centre that used to have 900 is now 400 or 450 and we believe that with these lower numbers, results should be able to be counted and announced and then we move quickly to collation centre and the results would be declared there.
“So the logic is that with the lower numbers, results would be declared early and we move to the collation centre where we are not doing counting but just adding the numbers”, Mr Yiryil added.
He assured that the commission is working to ensure that within an hour results at the polling stations would be announced, adding the commission also expects in about two to three hours results at the constituency level would have been collated and announced.