Ghana Politics

EC pledges to intensify public education to reduce rejected ballots

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The Electoral Commission (EC) says it will intensify public education to ensure that the number of rejected ballots recorded this year is reduced to the barest minimum.

Concerns have been raised about the length of this year’s presidential ballot paper owing to the unprecedented number of qualified aspirants.

A record 12 presidential aspirants were cleared to contest the 2020 elections.

The Deputy Chairman of the Commission in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, said the challenge of more candidates can be overcome with better sensitisation.

“As we enter the home stretch of the elections, the Commission will intensify its public education especially on how to properly vote as a way of reducing the number rejected ballots,” Dr. Asare said.

He even noted that “interestingly rejected ballots have always been placing third in our elections in the presidential polls.”

The number of rejected ballots recorded in the first round of the 2008 presidential race, for instance, stood at 205,438 ballots which constituted 2.4 percent of the 8,671,272 votes cast.

This was the highest percentage since 1992.

The 2016 election saw 168,882 rejected ballots representing 1.54 percent of ballots cast.

These trends notwithstanding, Dr. Bossman said the EC was “determined to ensure that this is reduced significantly.”

Mr. Bossman said this when he spoke at the launch of the ‘Ballots Without Bullets’ campaign organised by the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons.

What is a rejected ballot?

In general terms, a rejected ballot refers to a ballot paper that cannot be counted because the ballot paper either does not have an official mark; the voter has cast more votes than they are entitled to; the voter has made writings or marks by which they can be identified; the voter has left the ballot paper blank or has marked or thumb-printed it in such a way that it is not clear for whom they intended to vote.

Source: Citi News

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