The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has been observing the on-going District Level Elections and Unit Committee Elections being carried out by the Electoral Commission (EC). CODEO deployed 800 stationary Polling Station Observers and 300 roaming Observers, making a total of 1,100 Observers deployed nationwide. This midday situational statement is based on reports received from 98% of the 800 stationary Polling Station Observers.
The following are highlights from CODEO's observation regarding the setting up and opening of polls nationwide, based on analyses of rapid reports received from Observers:
- All (100%) CODEO Observers reported being granted access to polling stations by poll officials to observe the elections.
- A majority (88.4%) of polling stations observed opened between 7:15am to 8:00am, including 48.5% who opened by 7:15am. One in 10 (10.7%) opened between 8:01am and 10:00am, while 1.0% either opened after 10:00am or had not opened as at the time the Observers sent their reports.
- According to the Observer reports, 92.8% of the polling stations observed were set up in a manner that ensured voters could mark their ballots in secret, but seven percent (7.2%) of polling stations were not.
- CODEO Observers also noted that 93.3% of polling stations were accessible to persons with disabilities and the elderly. Approximately seven percent (6.7%) of polling stations were not accessible to such individuals.
- CODEO Observers reported that there were candidate agents present for the District Assembly Elections in 92.4% of polling stations observed.
- Regarding Unit Committee Elections, CODEO Observers found candidate agents in 43.1% of polling stations. In majority of the polling stations (56.9%), there were no agents for these candidates.
- At the time of the setting up of polling stations, all materials needed for the elections were available in half (50.2%) of polling stations. Observers reported unavailability of the following voting materials in some polling stations at the time of set-up:
- Ballot Box (4.1% of polling stations)
- Ballot Papers (3.7% of polling stations)
- Indelible Ink (4.7% of polling stations)
- Voting Screen (4.0% of polling stations)
- Validating Stamp (3.7% of polling stations)
- Ink Pad (3.6% of polling stations)
- Endorsing Ink (4.0% of polling stations)
- Tactile Ballot Papers (19.98% of polling stations)
- CODEO Observers reported that poll officials generally adhered to polling station set-up and opening protocols. At 97.6% of polling stations, ballot boxes were shown to be empty, sealed, and placed in the public view before voting commenced. However, in 2.4% of polling stations, this standard practice was not followed by election officials.
- In three-quarters of polling stations (72.9%) CODEO Observers saw stationed uniformed security personnel. However, a quarter (27.1%) of polling stations had no stationed uniformed security personnel.
CODEO will continue to observe the polls and will update the public with its findings. CODEO Secretariat, Tuesday, December 17, 2019
National Coordinator, CODEO
Dated: Tuesday, December 17, 2019