CODEO observers report 235 irregularities at polling stations.


 Story by Carlos Afanou






The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) in its close of election statements has reported 235 cases of various incidents from all the 4,000 polling stations where it deployed observers.


The reported incidents include intimidation/harassment; violation of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, violence of various kinds, unauthorized persons at polling stations, and malfunctioning of biometric devices.




CODEO reports of the arrest of its observer who was stationed at the Open Space Cocoa Shed Polling Station in Kassem in the Asutifi South constituency in the Ahafo Region.


It further called on the Election Security Taskforce, particularly the Ahafo Regional Command to facilitate the speedy processing of the CODEO observer, so he can quickly be released to complete his observation assignment.


Reported incidents


As of 7:00 PM, CODEO had recorded 235 cases of various incidents from all the 4,000 polling stations where it deployed observers.


The top five of these reported incidents are intimidation/harassment; violation of COVID-19 health and safety protocols; the violence of various kinds; unauthorized persons at polling stations; and malfunctioning of biometric devices.



Violence/ arrest of CODEO observer


Ahafo Region


At the Open Space Cocoa Shed Polling Station in Kassem in the Asutifi South Constituency in the Ahafo Region, unauthorized persons burnt the ballot papers just before counting began around 6:00 PM. The security agency was called in and they made some arrests. Unfortunately, the CODEO observer stationed at that polling station got arrested and is currently in Police custody at Goaso Police Command.


Ashanti Region


At Temp Booth Anomangye Pole Ase, Suame, a reported brawl between a supporter of the incumbent MP and that of the independent candidate resulted in a fight, which disrupted the electoral process for some minutes. The issue was resolved by security reinforcement.


Central Region


Steps to Christ Polling station, Awutu Senya East Constituency: Confirmed gun shots at polling station resulting in a journalist being injured.


Intimidation/harrasment


In Just Love International School, Abankrom 1, in Obuasi West constituency, the NDC observers intimidated the Presiding Officer in the quest to interrogate why the polling officer made the party agents stand at a far distance.



Violence of COVID-19 protocols


Voters at Anglican Church, Ogome 1, at Yilo Krobo Constituency, L/A Primary School, Mamekrobo East 2 at Afram Plains South Constituency, Accra High Secondary School (Station A) at Klottey Korle Constituency, Almanara Primary School 1 at Damongo Constituency, and M/A Primary School Kpatinga at Nalerigu / Gambaga Constituency were not adhering to the social distancing protocols. Other incidents


Ahafo Region


At Temporal Booth Yamfo 1, Tano North, at 11:47 AM the ballot issuer (who happens to be a lady) was caught hiding three stamped ballot papers. The voters present broke into the cordoned area the EC has created and beat her up. The ballot issuer was arrested alongside a voter who was harassing a soldier.


Ashanti Region


At Baaba Latif Polling station at new Zongo, Asawase Constituency in the Ashanti, a young man in possession of thumb-printed ballot papers was caught by the EC officials and handed over to the police.


Greater Accra Region


At Orion Cinema, Klottey Korle Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, the EC officials caught a lady, with thumb printed ballot papers are hidden in her underwear and handed her over to the Police. Voting Process.



CODEO observers reported that election officials generally validated ballot papers before they were issued to voters.


No unauthorized persons were allowed to be present during voting at almost all polling stations.


The Biometric Verification Machines worked perfectly in 89.9% of polling stations. However, the machines failed to function properly at some point in time in 10.1% of polling stations.


The Election Observers reported that no major incident of harassment and intimidation of voters or polling officials was recorded at 97.2% of polling stations.


Social distancing and handwashing were strictly enforced in 74.5% and 92.9%, respectively, of the polling stations.


In almost all polling stations, the fingers of voters were systematically marked with indelible ink.


Election Officials in 16.4% of polling stations turned away voters who were not wearing face masks.


Overall, 47.3% of CODEO observers described problems that may have occurred during the voting process as minor, 0.6% described such problems as a major, while 52.2% did not witness any problem at their assigned polling stations.



Conclusions


CODEO is continuing to observe the counting of ballots at polling stations, constituency and national collation centers.


CODEO continues to receive information on vote count from its nationally deployed


observers and will update the public on new and additional information it receives from its PVT


observers.


Also, CODEO will be releasing a more detailed preliminary statement on the conduct of


the elections as occurred on Monday, December 7, 2020.


CODEO also appeals to all Ghanaians to continue to remain calm, be law-abiding, continue to respect the COVID-19 safety protocols, and be measured in their reaction to results being announced from the polling stations, constituency, and the national collation centers. Ghana needs each and everyone alive.

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