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07.12.2004 General News

Voting Ongoing Throughout The Country

Voting Ongoing Throughout The Country
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...Updated constantly ... Accra, Dec.7, GNA - Polling in Election 2004 started throughout the country at 0700 hours on Tuesday with long queues of voters waiting patiently to cast their votes. Snaking lines of hundreds of voters built up at balloting places across Ghana on Tuesday, as the first sub-Saharan country to gain independence voted for president. ``I knew I was coming to wait ... before casting my vote,'' said David Adu-Sarpong, a 35-year-old commercial driver. Like many, Adu-Sarpong had used a rock to stake his place in line overnight before returning at 4:20 a.m. ``I don't mind at all - all I want to do is cast my vote,'' Adu-Sarpong said. ``My vote is my power.'' Brong Ahafo Sunyani: Long queues of voters were formed as early as 0400 hours on Tuesday at polling stations in Sunyani and its environs to cast their votes early enough in Election 2004.
The turnout of voters has been so impressive that, by 0900 hours most polling centres in Sunyani, Fiapre, Nsoatre and Berekum and other areas had recorded encouraging figures.
The exercise has been peaceful and orderly, without any serious incidents. As early as 0500 hours, security personnel and other election officials flooded the Sunyani Municipal Electoral Office to collect their election materials and they all departed to their various stations by 0600 hours.
An only early incident, which was seen more as a result of the rush by the officials to convey their materials to their centres, was the interchange of a ballot box for the Emmanuel Methodist Church Centre to the Penkwase Methodist Church.
Mr Daniel Fletcher, Presiding Officer at the Penkwase Centre, however, told Ghana News Agency, he had notified the Electoral Commission officials and was hoping the anomaly would be rectified before voting began at 0700 hours.
During rounds by GNA, it was realized that though all the security personnel were present, the political parties were poorly represented, with only the agents of the NPP and the NDC dominating. Berekum At the Islamic Primary School Centre at Berekum, 97 females and 69 males had exercised their franchise by 0820 hours.
Mr M. A. Kyeremeh, Presiding Officer at the Usumaniya Primary School Centre, said, out of the total of 743 voters, 78 males and 75 females had voted by 0825 hours.
The centre at Mangoase, also in Berekum, had recorded 124 out of 1,188 voters as having cast their votes by 0830 hours. Madam Mary Paula, Presiding Officer at the St Monica's Day Care Centre, complained about the lack of food for the officials and when asked by GNA as to their feeding arrangement, she replied that she was not aware of any such arrangement by the Electoral Commission. Techiman-B/A Voter turnout in the Techiman Municipality has been encouraging as the electorate abandoned their social and economic activities and thronged the polling stations as early voters.
At about 0300hours some voters had gone to their polling stations waiting for the electoral officials and the electoral materials. The atmosphere in the town is calm and the usual brisk business activities in the Municipality, has slowed down, as even wayside food sellers could not be seen. At about 0800 hours, the GNA had visited 24 polling stations in the Techiman South Constituency and there had not been any case of impersonation and shortage of electoral materials except at the Gyarko Junior Secondary School Polling Centre where, Madam Fuseina Rashid, a-50-year-old woman, could not trace her name in the photo register. Mr Joseph Akemo, Presiding Officer told the GNA that, Madam Rashid, duly registered with an ID Number 12118941 that also bears the Gyarko JSS Polling Station number and had even turned-up during the mob-up exercise. She was therefore, allowed to vote. At the Community Centre 'A' and 'B', Mr Eric Boadu, Presiding Officer, said a 90-year-old woman, Afia Yeboaa, who could not walk was among the early voters at the Centre 'A' that recorded 396 votes cast out of 1,006 registered at the centre with 295 people casting their votes out of the 758 registered voters at Centre 'B'.
Hundreds of NGOs, international observers as well as National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) staffs were monitoring the voting, which were taking place in all the 99 polling stations in the Techiman South Constituency and 71 polling stations in the Techiman North Constituency.
All the party agents of the PNC, NPP, NDC, CPP and agents for the Independent Candidate were present at all the polling centres visited in the South Constituency were present. Greater AccraAccra streets have been virtually deserted as Ghanaians go to the polls. A number of polling stations GNA visited had long queues with voting proceeding briskly and smoothly. Voting officially started at 0700 hours and many polling stations which had their elections materials started promptly. Turnout has been large as early voters made their way to the polling stations. Some of them used chairs and stones to claim places in the queues. Some voters said they arrived at their polling stations as early as 0100 hours to cast their votes and continue with their businesses. The day has not been declared a holiday. Voting delayed in some polling stations, because elections materials arrived late, but once the elections materials arrived, voting started in earnest. Ms Theresa Tagoe, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ablekuma South, told the GNA that she was concerned about some disturbing developments in the Gbebu Electoral Area at Agege and asked for extra security personnel at those places. She said while voting was going on peacefully at some polling stations in Dansoman, some polling stations at Agege and Chorkor needed extra security to maintain the peace. She said Gbebu Electoral Area in Agege had 37,000 registered voters while Chorkor had 24,000 registered voters. However, they had only one security officer at each poling station to control voters. Mallam Voting at the Princess Nursery Polling Station at Mallam in the newly created Weija Constituency was preceded by disagreement following the absence of a seal number on the ballot boxes.
This was after the NDC Poling Agent at the station raised an objection over the issue claiming it could easily lead to a substitution of the ballot boxes during transfer to the Constituency Centre. He called for the rectification of the problem before voting started. The other Polling Agents objected to his suggestions and said voting should proceed as they waited for the Returning Officer to solve the problem. Madam Mary Ashley, the Presiding Officer, told the GNA that based on the decision of the majority of polling agents they decided to proceed with voting in spite of the problem.
She said they had not encountered any problem since then. Election officers at the Zongo Polling Center could not control the impatient voters and called for reinforcements as the Centre had only one security officer who could not control the huge crowd. When GNA visited polling stations at Barrier, Oblogo, Mallam and Weija voting was progressing smoothly as voters waited patiently for their turn to cast their votes. Teshie The three are Tsuiblewuo Trotro Station, Teshie Camp Two Primary and Camp Two junior Secondary School (JSS).
There were very long but orderly queues which, started forming from as early as 0430 hours at all the polling stations.
Mr Ebenezer Numo, Presiding Officer at Tsuiblewuo Trotro Polling Station, told the GNA that the Electoral Commission officials who brought the materials said the security personnel would report later and the excuse was the same at the other two stations. However, the situation was different at the Wiseway Preparatory and the 31st December Day Care Polling Stations, also in the same Constituency. All the security personnel reported at their various stations before voting started at 0700 hours. Mr Kpakpo Allotey, a Mechanic, told the GNA that he woke up very early to come queue because he had his workshop at Dansoman and if he did not vote before going to work he could not back to cast his vote before the end of the exercise.
At Camp Two Primary Polling Station, Mr Samuel Bediako, the Presiding Officer, said everything was going on smoothly.
Nii Ababio, a Businessman, who was the first person in the queue, said he had to come that early to cast his vote because he had other businesses to attend to.Klottey Korley constituency Voting at most of the polling stations within the Klottey Korley constituency has been brisk and orderly despite the massive turn out and long queues.
At the Royal Preparatory School polling station in Nyaniba Estates, voters started queuing up well before 0600 hours long before the returning officer arrived with the election materials.
Mr Isaac Boadi, presiding officer at the District Education Centre polling station at Tudu in Accra, attributed the long queue to the interest the elections had generated in the area as well as the fact that his polling station registered the highest number of people in the constituency. "I registered over 1,600 people and so we are not surprised at the turnout," he said. Osu At the Osu Blorgodo Gardens polling station, the presiding officer Mr Raymond Quaynor, was nearly assaulted for assisting an old man to cast his vote. However, nerves were calmed when it was explained that Mr Quaynor did that with the consent of the party agents and at the request of the old man. Dade Kotopon Constituency At the Christ the King Polling Station of the Dade Kotopon Constituency in Greater Accra Region 158 voters were in a queue at the start of polling. The Presiding Officer Mr Philip Azumah told the GNA that he had all the requisite materials except the tally card for females. He said he had asked one of the Polling Assistants to improvise to capture the data so that he could transfer the results on to the appropriate form when supplied later. Mr Azumah said 1,216 eligible voters are on the register adding that so far the voters had comported themselves and there had not been any problems. Four Presidential Candidates - Dr Edward Mahama of the Grand Coalition; President John Agyekum Kufuor of New Patriotic Party (NPP); Professor John Evans Atta Mills of National Democratic Congress (NDC) and George Aguddey of Convention People's Party (CPP) - had their agents present at the Polling Station. The agents of the Parliamentary Candidates - Eric Kodi, Independent; Solomon Nii Adjetye Okang, CPP; Eric Osa Laate, Independent; Laryea Abdenego, NPP and Nii Amasah Kojo Namoale, NDC - were also present. Flagstaff House Polling Centre At the Flagstaff House Polling Centre of the Ayawaso East Constituency in Greater Accra Region, the Presiding Officer Ms Faustina Afenyo told the GNA that she had all the requisite materials to work with. There are 341 voters on the register and 45 of them were in the queue just before voting started. Three Parliamentary Candidates are vying for the seat. They are: Abdiel Godly Babaali of PNC; Daddah B Braimah, NPP and Mustapha Ahmed of NDC. Amantra Polling Station At the Amantra Polling Station of the Klotey Korley Constituency of Greater Accra Region, the Presiding Officer Ms Emma Asamoah said 15 registered voters had exercised their franchise when the GNA visited the centre at 0720 hours. They were made up nine women and six men. She said there were 800 voters on the register and she had not encountered any problems since all the voters and Polling Agents had comported themselves. Godwin Opare Addo of CPP; Richard Buckman of PNC; Nii Ashietey Armah of NDC and Nii Adu Mante of NPP are vying for the Parliamentary Seat. Mamprobi Ms Patience Tamakloe, Presiding Officer of Mamprobi Plaza Cinema "1" Polling Station in the Ablekuma South Constituency of Greater Region, said she was expecting 1,250 voters. Madam Lucy Mills, a Voter, said some people attempted to jump the queue and the lone Policeman on duty sent a distress call for reinforcement as the crowd grew. By time the GNA was leaving the Polling Station, help had arrived in the form of five armed police to maintain law and order. In a related development, angry voters trooped to the Dansoman Police Station to register their protest over the delays in voting at the Ofie Gardens Polling station at Dansoman Last Stop. By the time the GNA arrived at the scene at 0750 voting had started. Mr Ernest Okyere, Presiding Officer, said the delay was as a result of the inability of polling assistants to turn up on time. Some of the people in the community failed to heed the call of the Electoral Commission (EC) that nobody should hang around at the polling centres. A few public-spirited people were seen urging them to move away with one man with a megaphone trying to urge the people to go home and return at 1700 hours when counting would start. Ablekumah At the Ablekumah South Constituency of Greater Accra Region voting started about 15 minutes late at the Dansoman Police Station Polling Centre. Although some voters had queued as early as 0100 hours, voting started at 0715 hours. Mr Theophilous Tetteh, Presiding Officer, said he was unable to start on time because he had to distribute electoral materials to other polling stations in the electoral area. He said he was expecting 1,715 eligible voters to cast their votes. The crowd was restless and there was some confusion, as some people tried to jump the long queue when voting finally began. There are a number of security officers around to maintain law and order. Korle Bu When the GNA got to the Korle Bu Police Station in the same constituency, Mr Abraham Hinne, an Accountant, told the GNA that he got to the polling station at 0100 hours because he wanted to be the first to cast his ballot. According to Mr Hinne unfortunately he said he met another man who had slept overnight and, therefore, he (Mr Hinne) could not be the first to cast his ballot. When asked on how he coped with the mosquitoes, he said he brought along a big towel to protect himself against mosquito bites. Madina Abokobi At the Madina Abokobi and Bone Kwabenya Constituencies, both in the Greater Accra Region voting is going on smoothly with long lines of patient voters. Some voters told the GNA that they arrived at the polling stations as early as 0400 hours to cast their ballots so that they could go to work. Presiding officers and voters told the GNA that there had been no problem so far.
Ledzokuku Constituency -Accra Security Personnel did not report at all the three polling stations in the Ledzokuku Constituency when the Ghana News Agency (GNA) visited those stations before voting started at 0700 hours. Odokor At Odorkor Apostolic Church Polling Station, Mr Kenneth Atakora, Presiding Officer told the GNA that there were only two agents each from the NDC and NPP.
Only Polling Agents of the NDC and NPP were found at all the polling stations visited except at the Bethel Baptist Church at Sakaman, where an Independent Candidate was represented.
Mr Eben Nii Okaikoi, Presiding Officer at the Bethel Baptist Church expressed his dissatisfaction about inadequate security because only one Prison Officer had been posted to the place.
He explained that since the sitting MP, Mr Kwamina Bartels was expected to vote at the centre in the company of many supporters, it was proper that security was beefed up to forestall any eventuality.
According to Mr Okaikoi, voters should be well scrutinized before being allowed to vote, for instance, some persons should be required to provide information on the name of their parents, home town and age apart from checking the pictures in the register."
Speaking to Mr Bartels on phone, he said he would be voting around 1400hours when pressure at the Centre would have eased and expressed the hope that he might visit other polling stations. At the Odorkor Police Barracks under the Ablekumah Central, there were two Police Officers and a Prison Officer in charge of security.
Out of the 1,450 voters on the register, 173 people had voted as at 0828 hours at the Odorkor Police Barracks while at the Bethel Baptist Church 40 persons out 1,014 had cast their votes as at 0715 hours. The GNA saw observers from Observation Teams including the Catholic Bishops Council, the Christian Council of Ghana and the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) at the centres. Tema Voting started on a sound note at most polling centres in the Tema Municipality with high patronage.
Presiding officers of the polling centres visited by GNA said that, voters started forming queues as early as 0430 hours. Some of the centres visited included Sakumono, Tema, Kpone, Ashaiman, Katamanso and Oyibi,
The Presiding Officers said voting materials reached the centres without any hitch, thereby making voting to start at 0700 hours prompt. At the Kpone Methodist Premier Centre, 65 voters had cast their votes by 0720 hours, while 84 had done so at the Methodist Primary Centre; 180 at Katamanso, 365 at Oyibi, 144 at Presby A at Ashaiman as at 0900 hours, and 100 had cast their votes at Redemption Valley at Community 9. In all the centres visited, party agents and observers were present with the exception of the Grand Coalition.
In Tema, buses of some companies were seen conveying workers to their work places; some of them said they were on morning shift and would go and vote after work.
Meanwhile, activities at Tema have slowed down, apparently because people have gone to excises their franchise. North Voting begins in Tamale Tamale, Dec. 7, GNA - Voting in the Presidential and Parliamentary election started on smooth note in the Tamale North Constituency. Long queues had been formed as early as 0600 at all six polling stations the GNA visited Nineteen voters had cast their votes at 0715 at the Word Miracle Polling Station while 80 had voted at the Kalpohini Junior Secondary School (JSS) at 0745 hours. Among the early voters at the Kalpohini JSS was Alhaji Abukari Sumani, the National Democratic Congress Parliamentary Candidate, who was the first to cast his vote. At the Kalphoni, Senior Secondary School (SSS) Polling Station 85 voters had cast their votes at 0755 while 250 had voted at 0850 at the Inter Royal Hotel Polling Station. Ashanti Region Kumasi:There has been an early and massive turnout of registered voters at a number of polling stations in the Kumasi Metropolis to cast their votes. Long queues comprising the aged, youth and the handicapped had been formed at the various polling stations.
The Presiding Officers of all the polling stations the GNA visited said they had received all the necessary voting materials and that, security arrangements were also satisfactory.
They said they had no problem with voters, since all who turned out had queued in a peaceful manner.
Mr Oduro Ntiamoah, Presiding Officer of the Twumduase Polling Station and Mr Asare Donkor, of Ayeduase R/C Primary Polling Station, however, said the only problem they had encountered was the absence of seals for tightening the ballot boxes.
While, Mr Ntiamoah said his station received only one seal instead of six, Mr Donkor said his station had none at all.
They both said it could be an oversight and that they would immediately link up with the Electoral Commission (EC) to enable them to provide them with the seals before the close of the polls.
At all the polling stations of the four communities GNA visited, only National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) polling agents were present.
Meanwhile, at about 0730 hours, when the GNA was leaving the Ayeduase Primary Polling Station, 117 voters had cast their votes out of the about 1,400 registered voters. Sekyedumasi- Ash Voting started on schedule in all the 102 polling stations in the Ejura-Sekyedumasi Constituency.
Madam Elizabeth Owusu, the District Chief Executive, was the first to cast her vote at the Community Centre Polling Station at Ejura at 0705 hours. The voters had queued in their large numbers in all the 20 polling stations so far visited by the GNA and were casting their votes in an orderly manner. There has so far, not been any reported case of voting irregularity. On the average, about 35 per cent of the registered voters in the polling stations visited, had voted as at 0800 hours. There were polling agents for NPP, NDC and PNC except for the CPP, which did not have representatives in all the polling stations. Observers and security personnel were found in all the polling stations. Mr Eric Ohene Gyan, District Electoral Officer, told the GNA that 38,034 voters registered in the Constituency while 52 others transferred their votes to the Constituency. Asante-Akim Long queues of voters started at 0430 hours at Juaso, Atwedie, Nkwanta and Obogu in the Asante-Akim South Constituency for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Voting started at 0700 hours at all the centres and by 0725 hours, 20 people had voted at Juaso Secondary/Technical School "B", while the "A" Centre had recorded 30 votes and Presbyterian Primary Number Two had 43 people voted by 0730 hours. A voter, who put the presidential and parliamentary ballot papers in one ballot box, was assured that her votes would be counted among the valid votes. Nkwatia At Nkwanta Presbyterian Primary School Centre, 60 people had voted by 0750 hours, while at Juaso Court Hall, Emma Kwaah, Presiding Officer, said 123 people had voted by 0815 hours.
In spite of Tuesday being Obogu Market Day, a number of registered voters had formed long queues at the polling centres in the town. Polling agents for NPP, NDC and the Independent candidate were present at all the polling station while those of CPP and some observers were at a few of the centres. Asante Akyem North Voting in the Asante Akyem North Constituency, which commenced at 0700 hours, is encouraging with long queues at all the polling station visited by the GNA.
At 0915 the Ahenebronum Polling station had recorded 192 voter out 1,283 registered voters whiles at the Konogo Methodist Primary 'B.' Mr Stephen Gyasi, Presiding Officer told the GNA that 244 people had cast their vote by 0930 hours.
At the Agriculture Service Temporary Booth, 308 people had cast their votes by 0945 hours and at the Odumase Local Council Hall; Mr Adu Asabre Presidng Officer gave 322 as those who had voted by 0955 hours out of the 584 registered voters.
Polling agents for New Patriotic Party, National Democratic Congress and Convention People's Party were present at all the polling stations. Mampong, Ashanti Voting in the Election 2004 kicked off peacefully at Mampong in the Sekyere West District of Ashanti at 0700 hours with a prayer at the St. Paul's Local Authority Primary Polling Station.
Before the polls began at 0700 hours, voters had formed long queues at various polling stations, waiting patiently to elect their next President and Parliamentarian for the Asante Mampong Constituency. At the Ghana Water Company Limited Polling Station in the Township, about 200 people had cast their votes as at 0800 hours, while 78 people had voted at the Apostle Middle Annex Polling Station.
More than 50 voters, mostly female had already exercised their franchise at the SDA Middle Polling Station as at 0730 hours. At the various polling stations visited by the GNA, the turnout as at 0715 hours was impressive as voters waited patiently to take their turns.
The Mamponghene, Daasebre Osei-Bonsu II, speaking to the GNA at the GWCL Polling Station Annex, said he was highly impressed with the turnout as well as the peaceful take off of the elections. Daasebre Osei-Bonsu II, accompanied by the Queen mother, Nana Agyakoma Difie and some elders visited various polling stations in the town. He commended the chiefs and people of the traditional area for maintaining the peace so far and urged them to also ensure the successful end of the exercise.
Daasebre Osei-Bonsu II lauded officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) and party agents for their hard work and cooperation. The District Chief Executive, Mr Thomas Edward Atakorah, expressed satisfaction with the smooth take-off of the polls. He said enough security had been put in place to forestall any violence or intimidation. Sekyere West District Polling agents observing the general election in the Sekyere West District of Ashanti have expressed satisfaction with the smooth take-off of the exercise in the area.
An agent of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the Mampong SDA Middle Polling Station, Mr Boakye Acheampong told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that he was impressed with the peaceful take-off of the exercise. He expressed the hope that if things continued that way to the end of the exercise at 1700 hours, then the country's fledgling democracy would have been given a further boost. Miss Mariam Ibrahim, an Agent of the National Democratic Party (NDC) at the GWSC No.2 Polling Station, said she was generally satisfied with the way the elections began. "For me, I think things are going on well, particularly with the way people came out very early to cast their votes." Miss Ibrahim said the staff of the Electoral Commission (EC) and the security agents have done their homework very well in the area. At the various polling stations visited, the NPP, and NDC agents were mostly present, while agents of the People's National Convention (PNC) were present at only a few polling stations. Ho Voter turnout in the Ho Municipality has been generally enthusiastic and heavy this morning.
By 0700 hours, when voting got under way, several voters had formed long queues at several polling stations, Polling Officers at some polling stations told the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
Polling stations with very heavy turnout of voters as at 0900 hours, were Central Market, RTC, Fiave, Sports Stadium and Ho Polytechnic, where several voters sat on benches, while others stood in long winding queues.
Despite the heavy turnout, voting was smooth and orderly. Mr Stephen Segbefia, Polling Officer at the Central Market Polling Station, was of the view that, given the heavy turnout, voting might stretch beyond 1700 hours.
By 0800 hours, when the GNA got to that polling station, 98 people had cast their votes.
At the RTC polling station 129 voters had cast their ballots by 0812 hours, when the GNA left the station. The Global Evangelical Church Polling Station also had recorded 186 as at 0845 hours. A total of 300 voters had cast their votes at the Ho-Dome E.P. Primary School Polling Station and 255 had done so at the Ahoe Temporary Booth by 0900 hours. Indications were that, a large majority of voters would have exercised their franchise by 1200 noon. By 0900 hours, the long queue, which had formed at the United Pentecostal Primary School polling station near the Sports Stadium, had fizzled out. The general consensus among the polling agents of the various political parties was that, voting had been orderly, smooth and fast, even though there were complaints of insufficient inkpads. "If only everything would go on smoothly throughout the country as it is here, the election would be peaceful, free and fair", Mr Bruce Gbete the Grand Coalition Polling Agent at the Ho-Dome E.P. Primary Polling Station said. The general atmosphere in town was quiet with scanty vehicular movement. Western region Sekondi: Long meandering queues were formed by hundreds of anxious voters at the various polling stations in the Sekondi-Takoradi area soon after voting began at exactly at 0700 hours on Tuesday.
With the exception of the People's National Convention (PNC), which did not have agents in most of the polling stations visited by the GNA, the rest of the political parties as well as other observers were present at the polling stations.
Voting was smooth and orderly and security personnel relaxed as voting continued under their watchful eyes.
At the Takoradi PWD Park Polling Station, there was no PNC agent, while someone, who claimed to be a CPP agent had no accreditation.
Ms Otilia Akaba, the Presiding Officer, ordered him to go and bring the card and as at about 0745 hours he had not returned.
Sixty-five people out of 695 had voted at the station had cast their votes as at the time.
At the HM Technical Polling Station, one of the four Polling Assistants was absent and according to Mr Edward Dadzie, the Presiding Officer, this was causing some delay in the voting process.
The register has 763 voters out of which, 42 had voted as at 0800 hours.
Mr Aidoo Acquah-Kingsley, Presiding Officer at the 22A/3 Amanful Polling Station, complained about the fact that, polling had to be conducted in the sun because, the Electoral Commission failed to provide canopies at those temporary structures.
He said 566 voters were on the register out of which 135 had voted as at 0815 hours.
At the Snaps Preparatory School "B" Polling Station at Tanokrom, Mr Anthony Eshun, Presiding Officer, said 126 people had voted as at 0820 hours, out of the 953 on the register.
Mr Gideon Dampson, the Presiding Officer at the Snaps Preparatory School "A" told the GNA that the PNC agent did not turn up. The station has a register of 1,033 voters out of which 128 had voted as at 0835 hours, while hundreds of voters waited patiently in long queues for their turn to cast their votes.
At 0845, 128 people out of 1,321 had cast their votes at the Effiakuma Zongo and according to the Presiding Officer, Mr Abdul Hamid Majid Ahmid, voting had been smooth and orderly.
There were virtually no queues at most polling stations visited by the Mrs Mercy Appiah Dickson Presiding Officer at the Essaman-Kokoado Polling Station, said materials arrived 10 minutes late, initially causing anxiety among the voters.
As at 0900 hours, 120 people from a register of 720 had cast their votes.
Mr Fredrick Arloo, Presiding Officer at the Sekondi Old Adra Polling Station, said 250 people had cast their votes at 0905 hours out of the 676 registered voters
At the Sekondi Clerk Quarters Polling Station, Ms Elisabeth Attu, Presiding Officer, said 113 people had cast their votes out of a number of 307 as at 0920 hours. At the Sekondi Well Road Primary School Polling Station, Mr Alex Opare, Presiding Officer, said at 0930 hours 141 out of 477 eligible voters had cast their votes.
All the polling officers said they had sufficient voting materials and did not anticipate any shortage to mar the smooth conduct of the elections in the four constituencies. No incidents or malpractices such as double voting had been recorded in any of the polling stations visited so far and many people, who spoke to the GNA commended the EC for the smooth conduct of the elections. Mrs Gladys Asmah, Minister for Women and Children Affairs and Member of Parliament for Takoradi was among early voters at the Happer Road Polling Station at Takoradi. Asiama W/R Voting began peacefully and orderly in most of the polling stations in Ellembele and Evalue Gwira Constituencies in the Nzema East District.
As early as 0500 hours enthusiastic voters had formed long queues to cast their votes at polling stations at Asanta, Kikam, Axim, Asiama, Aiyinase and Eikwe. Agents of the contesting three parties - Convention People's Party (CPP), national Democratic Congress (NDC) and People's National Convention (PNC) and the Independent Candidate, as well as the security personnel had also taken their position when voting started at 0700 hours and were watching proceedings with eagle eyes. Mr Freddie Blay, First Deputy Speaker of Parliament and CPP incumbent MP for Ellembele, was among the early voters, who cast their votes at Eikwe Public Primary School Polling Station at 0730 hours. His archrival, Colonel Kaku Korsah (rtd), Former Shama-Ahanta Metropolitan Chief Executive, contesting the Ellembele seat on the ticket of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had not cast his vote at the Asiama Clinic Polling Station where he was expected to vote when the GNA got there at 1000 hours. At Asiama Catholic JSS Polling Station, the party agents were interfering with the work of the election officers. Mr Eshun Amponsah, Presiding Officer, told the GNA that the party agents wanted to inspect the photo identity cards of voters before allowing them to vote. This confusion held up voting at the polling stations for about 10 minutes. The security personnel at the polling station managed the cool down tempers as the Presiding Officer was bent on sacking them from the polling station for undue interference. One of the party agents for NDC, Mr Scott Armah said they wanted to ensure that there was no impersonation. At the Asiama Clinic Poling station, Mrs Rebecca Blay, Presiding Officer, said one voter came with voter identity card but his particulars were not in the voters' register but she allowed him to vote in accordance with scenario one of the guide to election, that permitted such voters to cast their votes.
Another incident was recorded at Asiama Catholic Primary Polling Station where some people called at the polling station to report that two people were paralysed so they had come to collect their ballot papers to go and give it to them at home to thumbprint.
When the Presiding Officer, Mr Samuel Srem-Sai asked them to go and bring the paralysed people in a taxi to the station to vote, they became offended and had wanted to fight the Presiding Officer but with the assistance of other election officers around, they were able to drive them away from the Polling Station. At the time there was no security personnel present.

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