Constant education, training of stakeholders and continuous improvements on election processes are vital to eliminating suspicion surrounding the conduct of elections in Ghana.
This was the consensus arising out of a meeting organized in Ho by the Electoral Commission (EC) for stakeholders to review the conduct of 2012 elections in the Volta Region.
The meeting was a continuation of the joint collaboration of the British Department for International Development (DFID) and KAB Governance Consult (KGC) and EC to review the 2012 elections.
The meeting agreed that biometric registration of voters helped in checking impersonation and double registration in the region.
Participants, mainly leaders of political parties, Presiding and Returning Officers and officials of the National Commission on Civic Education however stressed the need to address the problems associated with voter verification.
Participants also called on the EC to impress on the government to give attention to the National Identification Project to ensure that people did not cross over from neighbouring countries to vote in border communities.
On ?Key Regional Challenges,? Ms Laurentia Kpatakpa, the Volta Regional Director of the EC, said ?some officials gave us problems as some Presiding Officers decided to do their own things as they refused to direct voters where polling stations were split.?
In some cases Presiding Officers asked voters to stand in alphabetical order while some Polling Agents gave ?counter instructions,? she said.
Ms Kpatakpa said the performance of verification machines did not pose much problem in the region except for a few hitches in some remote areas.
She said there was the need for training in operating the verification machines because those machines ?have come to stay.?
?Making voting easy for voters should be our primary focus,? she said.
Ms Kpatakpa said there had never been a perfect election anywhere and whether an election was good or bad depended on ?the level of irregularities.?
Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission, said there was the need for the citizenry to brainstorm to protect the credibility of elections in Ghana.
He said the problems with elections in the country must be shared collectively as a nation and not blamed on one person or institution.
Dr Afari Gyan said ?the citizenry have a collective responsibility to make our elections what we want it to be.?
He said the regional review meetings were therefore meant to find out ?what we have done so well that must be retained, what have not been done well and need to be changed and what has been done so badly so that we find entire new ways for the future.?