Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE” GHANA) has bemoaned the number of rejected ballots recorded in the 2020 elections, and has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to put in place measures to reduce the numbers in subsequent polls.
The civil society organisation revealed that Ghana lost about GHC14,116,967 as a result of rejected ballots in the 2020 General Elections.
In a press release issued by the voting rights organization said the surge in rejected ballots in Ghana’s national elections denies citizens their right to choose a government for themselves and also causes financial loss to the state.
“CARE” Ghana explained that in “the 2020 elections for instance, 313,397 rejected ballots were recorded, thereby causing a huge financial loss of GHC14, 116,967 to the state”.
“CARE” Ghana added that since the beginning of the forth republic, records from the Electoral Commission (EC) shows that, one million four hundred and ninety eight thousand and eighty five (1,498,085) ballots have been rejected in the eight successive national elections.
This indicating voters have been unable to cast their ballots the right way, making it tough for the choice of the electorate to be known. This precipitates the growing concerns about the surge in ballot papers rejected in national elections.
They civil society organization stated that in the history of Ghana’s democratic dispensation in the fourth republic, the 2020 presidential election recorded the highest rejected ballots ever.
“It is worth noting that, rejected ballots recorded in the 2020 presidential race is higher than ever in terms of absolute figures” the release read.
In every election, these rejected ballots amount to colossal percentages of the votes in excess of the total number of votes that all the smaller political parties are able to garner.
Irrespective of the progress made by the introduction of reforms, “CARE” Ghana stated that rejected ballots continue to pose a threat to electoral advancement and Ghana’s quest for democratic consolidation.
In the year 1992; 149,813 ballots were rejected, in 1996; 111,108 ballots were rejected and 119,372 ballots rejected in the 2000 elections respectively.
While in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections, rejected ballots were 188,123; 205,643; 243,280; and 167,349 respectively.
The organization however reiterated Ghana’s elections in 2024 is critical, hence every ballot cast by the electorates must count.
The Executive Secretary for CARE Ghana therefore indicated “effective collaboration between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is required to educate and enlighten both new and old voters ahead of the 2024 general elections to if not eliminate or mitigate the number of rejected ballots in Ghana’s elections”.
By Agaatorne Douglas Asaah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana