2024 polls: We plan to create more polling stations, close at 3pm to ensure broad day counting — EC

2024 polls: We plan to create more polling stations, close at 3pm to ensure broad day counting — EC

Ahead of the 2024 elections, the Electoral Commission (EC) has alluded to procedures being put in place to increase the number of polling places.

The Electoral Commission (EC) intends to limit the number of voters in each polling place to 500.

The EC’s chairperson, Jean Mensa, stated that adding more polling places will ease traffic at voting locations during a forum hosted by the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) in Accra.

In addition, the Electoral Commission (EC) made a suggestion that the 2024 general elections’ closing time for voting would be moved from 5:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

“In 2020, 70 percent of our polling centres had a voter threshold of 500 and below. This time we intend to ensure that all our polling station centers have a threshold of 500 voters and below. In the same vein, we will increase the number of our polling stations nationwide.

“We believe that this will go a long way to reduce the long queues that characterize our elections and allow for a smooth, seamless, hassle-free voting process. In 2020, it took voters not more than five minutes to cast their votes due to the introduction of this policy. Based on our 2020 experience and also feedback from several observer groups, we propose to close the polls at 3:00 pm.”

In broad daylight, the goal of this modification, according to EC Chairperson Jean Mensa, is to make it easier for electoral officers to conduct a transparent and systematic tallying of votes.

Mrs. Mensa emphasized that the plan is based on the knowledge gained from the 2020 elections, in which by 1:00 pm, about 70% of polling places had seen very little activity.

“If you compare the turnout in 2016 to 2020, in spite of the hassle-free process in 2016 and the lack of long queues and lines and so on, we had a voter turnout of 79 percent plus, compared to 67 percent in 2020,” Mrs. Mensa added.

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