The Electoral Commission (EC) has refuted allegations by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that it is attempting to rig the upcoming elections by overprinting ballot papers.
According to the NDC, one of the seven printing houses undertaking the exercise, Assembly Press, has printed about 150,000 surplus ballots breaching the 5 percent excess ballot papers requirement.
The National Campaign Coordinator for the NDC, Professor Joshua Alabi who addressed the media on the matter over the weekend said such irregularities will not be countenanced by the party.
But a statement from the EC dated November 3, 2020, described the allegations as “misleading”.
The EC also used the opportunity to respond to other allegations raised by the NDC including concerns with serial numbers on ballot papers.
With regard to the overprinting of ballot papers, the EC said: “It has been a standard practice for the Commission to print ballot papers in excess of five percent (5%) to cater for instances such as spoilt ballots. This has been the practice since 1992 and the present Commission has not changed this policy. In line with this policy, all Printing Houses have been directed to print the 2020 ballot papers in excess of 5% for all thirty-eight thousand, six hundred and thirty (38,630) Polling Stations across the country.”
The EC further explained that “Since 1992, ballot papers for both the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections are printed in booklets of 10, 25, 50, and 100 for all Polling Stations. As such a Polling Station that has, for example, ninety (90) voters will be provided with a ballot booklet that contains hundred (100) ballots or two (2) booklets of fifty (50) ballots each as a special booklet cannot be printed for that exact number of Voters i.e. ninety (90) Voters.”
“In the scenario above, a booklet cannot be printed for ninety voters. A booklet of hundred (100) ballots will be provided. After adding a contingency of five percent (5%) to the ninety (90) voters, the number of ballots would increase to some ninety-five (95) ballots. However, since that Polling Station can only be provided with a booklet that contains a hundred (100) ballots, there will be an excess of five (5) ballot papers,” it added.
The Electoral Commission began the printing ballot papers for the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections on Monday, 26th October 2020.
Seven printing houses in Accra were selected by the EC to spearhead this exercise.
Read the Full statement from the EC below: