The Electoral Commission (EC) has warned the electorate that forcing somebody to vote in a particular way, impede or prevent a voter from freely exercising his or her right to vote is classified as an electoral offence.
“To give or receive money or something of value as a means of persuading a person to vote or not to vote in a certain way; to canvass for votes or seek to find out how a person intends to vote within five hundred meters of a polling station is an election offence.
“Putting anything other than a ballot paper into a ballot box when an election was in progress and forging printing or be in possession of a ballot paper without lawful authority forms part of the electoral offences in our law,” Mr Kwame Amoah, EC Greater Accra Regional Director told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on Monday.
Speaking on the duties of voters in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections on November 7, 2020, as stipulated in EC Election 2020 Guide to Voters, Mr Amoah that, a voter is expected to respect the rights of other voters at all times.
He explained that voters were to adhere to the tenets of good democratic and electoral principles, which demanded outmost recognition of the right to peaceful and orderly conduct of the election, the right to make one’s own choice and the right to cast a secret ballot.
Mr Amoah said it was the responsibility of a voter to call the attention of the Presiding Officer to anything that was considered to be irregular and if possible give a written account of the irregularity to the Presiding Officer or a higher election official.
On the dos and don’ts on Election Day, Mr Amoah said it was an affront to electoral rules for a voter to wear any dress or take anything whatsoever to the polling station that identifies a voter with a particular candidate or party “it is an offence that attracts severe punishment”.
A voter is not required to inspect the Identity Card of persons who are in the queue to vote. A Voter has a right to tell the Presiding Officer of any objections one has against any person in relation to the election but not to directly confront these persons.
Mr Amoah said according to the EC rules a voter cannot give orders to the election staff or in any way interfere with or disrupt electoral work such as taking part in the actual administration of the election including; the counting of votes after close of polls, handling any election material and trying to supervise the work of the polling staff.