The Electoral Commission (EC) has applauded itself for the successful conduct of the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections in the country.
Despite the controversies surrounding the final election results and disturbances at some polling centers which led to the loss of some lives during the election process, the EC says it needs to celebrate its successes.
“Let us celebrate our successes of the 2020 elections and document them; for there is so much knowledge, good experiences and best practice residing in the Electoral Commission of Ghana,” Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission said at an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) Review Workshop on the 2020 general election in Accra on Tuesday, 18 May 2021.
“We need to celebrate the fact that in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and its uncertainties, as a country we were able to undertake all our electoral processes, from the preparation of brand-new voters register with over 17 million persons in 38 days, to the exhibition of register to the filing of nominations to the election day activities without the spread of the COVID-19 virus and that no life was lost to COVID-19 as a result of our activities,” Mrs Mensa added.
Stating more of the EC’s achievements, the Chairperson of the Commission continued that: “Despite the apprehensions around the COVID-19, the enthusiasm and participation of citizens in all our processes was high and beyond expectations. Indeed, despite the fears of a low turnout, we registered over 17 million eligible Ghanaians in 38 days and recorded a turnout of 79% on election day as compared to 67% in 2016.”
Talking about the use of technology in the electoral process, Mrs Mensa noted: “We need to recognise the fact that as a country, technology was deployed to enable a section of our citizenry to check their registration details over the telephone at minimal cost”.
Clapping further for herself and the EC, Mrs Mensah said: “First of all, we need to acknowledge the fact that it took less than six months to conduct a Presidential and Parliamentary elections that would usually take two years to undertake.
“We must applaud the hard work of EC staff across every region and district of this country, for the yeoman’s job they did. From the introduction of the new biometric voter management system, comprising new biometric verification and registration devices and software through to the replacement of the entire voters register to the election day. It took the Commission six months from the 30th of June to the 7th December to successfully implement all its processes. It is important, for our own work today, and for future leaders and staff of the EC, that we document how this was achieved”.
She noted that constructive critique is a vital part of any institutional-building and learning process, but so is celebration of success.