30.01.2024 Feature Article

EC’s no indelible ink proposal is unmeritorious and no double voting with BVDs unfounded

ECs no indelible ink proposal is unmeritorious and no double voting with BVDs unfounded
30.01.2024 LISTEN

It is only the uninitiated in Ghana who will not heed to the potentially explosive confusion and anarchy during the upcoming General election on December 7, 2024, if the proposal of no indelible ink and unverifiable claim of no double voting possibility with BVDs by the Jean Mensah-led EC are allowed to fly.

To me, the actions and inactions of this Jean Mensah-led EC are much more concerning than even the partisan rhetoric of the political Parties in the country.

Ghana does not yet have a completely matured or water-tight electoral system but rather an evolving one unlike the matured democracies in the West.

Why is it that the Jean Mensah-led EC wants Ghanaians to believe that every voter is honest and will play by the electoral rules at all polling stations on the election day in December 2024? Is Jean Mensah and her Team not aware that the BVDs can break down on election day and manual verification process knicks in? In the absence of indelible ink, what will the EC use to identify those who already voted?

In fact, the proposal by the EC to eliminate the use of age-tested indelible ink is not only unmeritorious but a preposterous suggestion. In my previous publications this Election Year, 2024, I cautioned all of us, Ghanaians to ensure the EC carries out its constitutional mandate diligently and impartially as well as urging that our eyes must be on the Jean Mensah-led EC’s actions as the General elections approach (refer to my Feature Articles published on Jan 1. 2024, Jan 3, 2024, and Jan 14, 2024, for details on EC-related matters).

There is the need for the EC to completely abandon this thought of ’no indelible ink use’, as it is a recipe for avoidable electoral disputes and questionable credibility issues relating to winners and losers in the upcoming General elections.

I am reliably aware that during the District and Unit Committee (DUC) elections, double voting occurred at some polling station(s), and this was detected despite BVDs were used. For instance, the other form of double voting worthy of mention is that someone who could not vote using BVD at the DUC elections went through the manual process to vote but returned to use the BVD which started to work later. This was enabled by the absence of the use an indelible ink on the voter in the DUC elections last year.

The EC and Jean Mensah’s team are not direct beneficiaries of electoral victory but the political Parties! Therefore, the EC has no locus in acting outside of key political actors and the voting public interest and taking intransigent positions without convincing reasons.

Refreshingly, the largest Opposition NDC Party has rejoined the IPAC for crucial deliberations at the meetings to shape our fledgling democracy under the Fourth Republic.

EC’s no indelible ink proposal and the unverifiable claim of no double voting possibility with BVDs are unfounded. What the EC did during the DUC elections raised more questions than answers, impugning ill motives to their proposal of ‘no indelible ink’.

Therefore, the early Jean Mensah and her team realise the gravity of any little miscalculation on their part during these high-stake General elections the better for our democracy and country.

There are highly pressing fundamental issues that need to be handled by the Jean Mensah’s EC as soon as possible such as:

i) refurbishing or acquiring robust BVDs to avoid rampant malfunction during the General elections,

ii) generating an inclusive and credible electoral register before the General elections take place,

iii) ensuring logistical readiness for timely dispatch of electoral materials on the election day, and

iv) engaging in buy-in exercises with key political actors and the voting public via public engagements to ensure credible and incident-free upcoming General elections occur.

The Jean Mensah’s EC should rather be focusing on its core duties of delivering free and fair elections but not engaging in acts that rather question their impartial and independent role as stipulated in the constitution.