Internet disruptions will not affect 2024 polls – EC assures

Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has assured that the current internet disruptions will not compromise the integrity of the 2024 general elections.

The assurance comes amid concerns raised due to recent cuts in undersea fibre optic cables, which have significantly impacted mobile network operations since March 14, leading to widespread internet outages across the nation.

In an interview with Citi News’ Hanson Agyemang, the Director of Electoral Services at EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, clarified that election day procedures are largely independent of internet connectivity.

While acknowledging the role of computers in the electoral process, Dr. Quaicoe emphasized that critical tasks such as ballot paper collation and voting are conducted manually.

He assured that the internet interruptions will not affect the electoral process as internet connectivity does not play a significant role during elections.

“On election day, everything is manual, reading does not use the internet. Voting is done, basically without e-voting. People are given ballot papers they go and thumbprints. That has nothing to do with the internet, when the results are counted, it has nothing to do with the internet.

“The officers will physically send the results to the collation centres, and the results will be collated manually on the access sheet, which has no internet connectivity.

He emphasized, “When they finish at the constituency, they will send the result to the regional office, no internet usage. The region will also do the collation just using the computer without internet connectivity.

“When they finish, they will send the results through a fax machine to the head office. Then the head office will also do the collation and announce the results. So, the election day has nothing to do with internet connectivity.”

He indicated that they use the services of MTN, Telecel and other providers’ facilities but not their internet.

“Except the exhibition time and registration time where we use our…routers and other things from MTN and other providers, we use their facilities, but that is not internet-based.

“It’s just normal data that we’ll use. Once we don’t have any issues with data, we can do the registration through our network data centre and the rest, and we’ll complete the system.

“And on the day of the exhibition, we collect on our database. We don’t use the external internet. So, I don’t think it will have any effect on our registration or exhibition.”

He assured the EC’s commitment to ensuring a smooth and transparent electoral process, irrespective of the internet connectivity challenges.

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has indicated that all four (4) subsea cables from Ghana to Europe through Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal are still out of service.

Source: citinewsroom

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