A civil society organization Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE” GHANA) has admonished the Electoral Commission (EC) to put in place measures to reduce rejected ballots which have become a third force behind the NDC and NPP.
A press release signed and issued by David Kumi Addo, Executive Director of the organization, explained that since Ghana returned to electoral democracy, votes cast by some electorates have been rejected in elections and that rejected ballots continue to maintain its position representing the third force behind NDC and NPP.
CARE Ghana stated that records from the EC indicates 149,813, 111,108, and 119,372 ballots were rejected in 1992, 1996 and in 2000 elections respectively.
Kumi Addo said in the 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 elections, rejected ballots were 188,123; 205,643; 243,280; and 167,349 respectively.
CARE Ghana further detailed that records from the EC shows that, one million four hundred and ninety eight thousand and eighty five (1,498,085) ballots have been rejected in eight national elections in the fourth republic.
This indicates that, voters have been unable to cast their ballots the right way, making it tough for the choice of the electorate to be known.
The group said “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. It is worth noting that, rejected ballots recorded in the 2020 Presidential Race is higher than ever in terms of absolute figures. Friedrich Ebert Stiftung reports that, rejected ballots in the 2004 elections constitute 2.13% of 8,625,785 total votes cast, far in excess of the 165,375 votes constituting 1.9% Dr. Edward Mahama of the People’s National Convention (PNC) garnered”.
CARE Ghana concluded that as a voting right organisation and advocates, “it is our considered view that, effective collaboration between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to provide proper public education will improve electorates’ ability to vote and vote well. Also, abolishing the use of ink in voting will eliminate incidence of rejected ballots occasioned by spillages or inaccurate folding of the ballot sheet”.
By Agaatorne Douglas Asaah|Myxyzonline.com|Ghana