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Election 2024: We want to close polls at 3pm – Says EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) is proposing to close polls on election day at 3pm instead of 5pm to provide more room for counting and collation of results.

According to the Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa, the proposal was initially billed to take effect in the 2020 elections but had to be shelved because of COVID-19.

“We propose closing the polls at 3pm rather than 5pm. In 2019, we announced our decision to close the polls at 3pm rather than 5pm, in the 2020 Elections. Nonetheless, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the stringent, and necessarily time-consuming safety protocols we instituted at our polling stations, we were compelled to put this proposal on hold.”

“Over the past months, however, this proposal has re-surfaced from various sections of the public, and indeed, our own experience from the 2020 Elections has revealed that it is a workable proposal, as by 1pm, most polling stations were empty, suggesting that this is a workable proposal. Therefore, this is a reform we intend to put forward,” Mensa said at the opening ceremony of a two-day retreat with political parties and development partners in Accra.

She also revealed that the Commission intends to do away with the periodic nationwide limited registration and exhibition exercise and to replace it with an all-year walk in provision at their district offices.

This is expected to go a long way to cut cost on elections by doing away with cost associated with exhibition exercise.

“Again, we propose to do away with the system of periodic nationwide registration exercises, and institute an all-round system where citizens who turn 18, or persons who have not previously registered, may visit any district office with their Ghana Card or passport and register as voters. This will help us do away with nationwide registration exercises and go a long way to reducing the cost of elections”.

“We further propose a year-round exhibition system that will enable citizens check their registration details on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Citizens would not need to wait for an exhibition exercise to check their details. They will be able to do so, all year round,” Mensa said.

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