The Electoral Commission (EC) has said it intends to increase the number of polling centres in the next general elections.
“We will increase the number of our polling stations nationwide”, EC Chair Jean Mensa said at an inter-party dialogue and stock-taking conference organised by the National Peace Council in Accra on Thursday, 14 December 2023.
“We believe that this will go a long way to reduce the long queues that characterise our elections and allow for a smooth, seamless, hustle-free voting process,” she added.
She noted: “In 2020, it took voters not more than five minutes to cast their votes due to the introduction of this policy”.
She also proposed to close polls at 3 pm instead of 5 pm on the day of voting to facilitate transparent vote collation before darkness falls.
“In 2020, 70 per cent of our polling centres had a voter threshold of 500 and below”, Mrs Mensa said, adding: “This time, we intend to ensure that all our polling station centers have a threshold of 500 voters and below”.
She said: “Based on our 2020 experience and also feedback from several observer groups we propose to close the polls at 3:00 pm.”
“Our experience in 2020 reveals that by 1:00 pm, 70 per cent of our polling stations were empty of voters as most voters had cast their votes. This made it possible because the threshold of most polling centres was reduced to 500 voters per voting centre”.
“This was coupled with the robust verification devices that were deployed to the polling stations. We are convinced that by closing the polls at 3:00 pm, we will be able to count and collate in broad daylight and this will promote the needed transparency and orderliness that we so desire,” Mrs Mensa said.