The Electoral Commission (EC) insists it will shift the closing time of voting from 5:00 pm to 3:00 pm during the 2024 general elections.
Chairperson of the Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, the main proponent of the new time for ending polls explained that the adjustment will help to facilitate the transparent and orderly collation of votes by electoral officers in broad daylight.
She justified the proposal while addressing participants at an inter-party dialogue and stock-taking conference organized by the National Peace Council in Accra on Thursday, December 14.
Mrs Mensa further explained that the adjustment of the closing time is achievable because approximately 70 percent of voting centres across the country witnessed minimal activity by 1:00 pm during the 2020 polls.
She added the development will help diminish the long queues that have historically characterized elections, streamlining the voting process for citizens.
“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, hustle-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.
“Our experience in 2020 reveals that by 1:00 pm, 70 percent of our polling stations were empty of voters as most voters had cast their votes. This made it possible because the threshold of most polling centres was reduced to 500 voters per voting centre.