The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is ready to deliver a successful, credible, fair, orderly and peaceful elections on December 7, 2020.
Chairperson of the Commission Jean Mensa, briefing Parliament, in Accra, at weekend on the roadmap for the polls said the Commission had procured a wide variety of election materials.
These include; ballot boxes, thumbprint pads, stationary, identifications jackets, polling station booths, rechargeable lamps, indelible ink, educational posters, and seals among others.
“We’re about 95 percent done with the distribution of election materials to our various locations across the country,” Mrs Mensa, said, adding that the Commission has planned thoroughly for the distribution.
In her company to the House were some officials of the Commission including; Mr Samuel Tettey -Deputy Chair Operations, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chair Corporate Services, Mr Kye Duodo, Procurement Officer and Mr Henry Ashong – Deputy Finance Director.
The Commissioner, expected by the House to give the briefing last Thursday, November 45, 2020, but was not present, debunked claims that she turned down an invitation from Parliament.
Her absence angered a number of MPs, but the Chair explained that she was informed of the invitation to the Commission on the night of Wednesday, 4th November 2020 at a time she was out of the jurisdiction.
She said the Deputy Chair for Cooperate Services informed the Majority Leader about this, and made arrangement for the briefing on Saturday.
Mrs Mensah also explained that to facilitate the movement of the staff and promote the delivery of their mandate at the grassroots level, the Commission procured a total of 147 vehicles made up of 15 motorbikes, 30 four-wheel drives,107 pickups, 8 haulage trucks and two Coaster buses at a total cost of GH38.37 billion.
She said this had promoted the efficiency of the staff and the swift movement of goods and materials from the stores to the regions and districts, adding that it has helped to eliminate costs that were associated with the hiring and rental of vehicles.
She noted that close to 95 percent of the EC’s procurement were done through an open tender process. “We achieved this by advertising all our procurement processes in the newspapers.
“This policy decision introduced competition into our procurement and helped drive down prices. Ultimately it ensured value for money in our procurement process. In due course, the Commission will make public a report showing the huge savings made as a result of this decision,”
Mrs Mensah also observed that the Commission has procured 74,800 brand new Biometric Verification Devices for the election to enhance the integrity and credibility of the polls.
She said the enhanced features of the devices would speed up the verification process and would ensure that only persons whose biometric details are captured in the system vote on the Election Day.
She explained that the device had a record of both fingerprints and facial features of each unique individual and in the event where an individual hadf lost the use of his or her fingers, the facial recognition feature would be employed to identify the voter.
“We are confident that the use of both features will go a long way to enhance the integrity of the Polls,” she added.
Mrs Mensah also indicated that the Commission procured 8,000 brand new Biometric Voters Registration kits ahead of the registration in July.
She said the kits worked efficiently and resulted in the speedy and accurate capturing of the biometric details of 17,029,971 Ghanaians across the country.
She said the EC’s staff reported a great improvement from the previous kits used. When compared to the previous kits, the current kits were more robust, user friendly and perform more effectively than the previous Kits.
She explained that there were few reports of breakdown of kits in the field and a good number of the EC’s Data Entry Clerks registered over 280 persons per kit per day as opposed to the past, where the highest registered was 100 voters per kit per day.
“In all, the performance of the kits exceeded our expectation,” Mrs Mensa said.
Mrs Mensah also indicated that Commission has prepared a new Biometric Voter’s Register in time for the election and that the register embodies unique individuals only with a total number of 17,029,971 voters.
“We are confident in the credibility and integrity of the 2020 voters register and are pleased with the collaboration and cooperation of the citizenry at all levels particularly at the district level, as well as the magistrates, to ensure that only eligible Ghanaians participated in the process, ‘ she said.
She stated that 32,621 persons have been placed on the multiples and the exceptions list, of these 18, 619 persons engaged in multiple registration 14, 002 engaged in various illegal practices including; under aged voting and voting by non-Ghanaians were all on the exceptions list.
She explained that it was important to correct an impression that the 18,619 names on the multiples list refers to individuals.
For the record, this number reflects the total number of multiple registrations, as such if a person has registered 10 times, all 10 instances will be on the list. It is therefore not made up of 18,619 unique individuals but rather of multiple registrations.