The special voting exercise has commenced in earnest in all the 275 centres nationwide.
A total of 109,577 are casting their ballots for their preferred presidential and parliamentary candidates across the country.
The Electoral Commission on Monday assured of a smooth exercise.
Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission told the media on Monday that all the necessary logistics have been deployed in sufficient quantities to the various constituencies.
She added that all election officials have been adequately prepared and stand in readiness to deliver a credible election.
“The special voting exercise will take place at selected locations in all 275 constituencies on the 1st of December 2020. All is set for the special voting. Our officers have been recruited and trained and stand in readiness to deliver a free, seamless, peaceful and orderly process. All materials have been distributed in sufficient quantities and this included the COVID-19 materials, stringent COVID-19 protocols will be put in place and observed. The Biometric Verification Devices have been prepared and deployed.”
The exercise commenced at 7 am in most centres today, December 1, 2020. Voting will end at 5 pm.
The prospective early voters are personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces, National Intelligence Bureau, National Security, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, and Information Services Department.
The rest are personnel of the National Ambulance Service, Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority, Prisons Service, Ghana Journalists Association, Ghana Police Service and National Media Commission.
Such persons will be engaged on December 7th.
Citi News’ reporters have been reporting on the process so far across the country.
Greater Accra Region
In the Greater Accra Region, the special voting exercise at the Jamestown Police Station in the Odododiodoo constituency is ongoing amidst strict adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
Speaking to Citi News, the District Supervisor of the Electoral Commission in the Odododiodoo constituency, Godwin Ayikpa stated that the preparations have been put in place to ensure that voters follow COVID-19 protocols.
“We were able to set up and start the electoral process by 7 am. At the entrance of the centre, you have to wash your hands with soap and water, wipe it off and get your hands sanitized. All voters are also wearing masks. The security here is also working hard and monitoring and ensuring the mask-wearing rule.”
According to Citi News’ Rita Mensah, voting commenced exactly at 7 am at the Trade Fair Centre where the special voting is taking place in the La Dadekotopon constituency.
The District Electoral Officer for the constituency said about 3,749 persons are expected to take part in the exercise.
In the Ablekuma South constituency, Citi News’ Nerteley Nettey reported that the exercise is underway at the Korle Bu Police Station amidst strict adherence with the COVID-19 safety protocols.
About 410 early voters are expected to participate in the exercise.
In the Okaikoi constituency, 398 voters are expected to cast their votes at the Achimota Police station.
The exercise according to Citi News‘ Phyliss Naa Lankai Lamptey said voting stated at exactly 7am.
In an interview with Citi News, the EC official for the Okaikoi North Constituency, George Baffoe Amoah, said the process has been smooth by far and expressed hope that the exercise would end on time.
The parliamentary candidate for the NPP, Fuseini Issah and NDC parliamentary candidate, Theresa Lardi Awuni have expressed satisfaction about the voting process so far.
Kwesimintsim special voting kicks off without incident
In the Western Region, Akwasi Agyei Annim reported that exercise is taking place at the St. Anthony of Pedua Roman Catholic Church.
He said the exercise begun at the allotted time.
“As at 6:55am, electoral officials had completed setting up the centre and the expected 413 voters started casting their votes at 7am prompt without any issues,” he said.
Charles Kumodze, the Presiding Officer, in a Citi News interview said: “The voting started exactly 7:00 am and all personal protective kits are available and as at now 102 have voted. Our voter register is 413, and so we are expecting the rest to come”.
“So far, the verification device is working well. Some three persons came here but upon looking at their ID card, we realized they belong to Effia constituency, so they asked them to go to the coalition centre at Christ the King Parish Hall at Effiakuma. For now, everything is going on well as nothing bad has happened. We are praying that it should go on like that and at end, everything will be successful”, he said.
A nurse, Yvone Nyamekye Krampah who voted around 8:30 spoke Citi News on her experience with the exercise.
“I found the process to be cool and all the protocols are being observed. I just came and I’m done, and I am going to work. I think it is a relief for me,” she said.
Upper West Region
The special voting exercise is smoothly ongoing in all the 12 polling centres in the Upper West region.
Citi News sources at the centres indicate that the exercise started at 7:00am without any hindrance as electoral materials were readily available for the process.
As of 10:30 am, a total of 235 out of the 385 voters at the Tumu police station centre in the Sissala East constituency had cast their ballots.
In all, 3,459 persons are expected to vote in the special voting exercise in the Upper West Region.
The Municipal Chief Executive for Oforikrom in the Ashanti Region, Gloria Temah Gambrah urged the general public to go out in their numbers and vote on December 7.
Speaking to Citi News after observing the special voting process at the Oforikrom polling centre, she expressed satisfaction with how the COVID-19 safety protocols were being observed.
She further advised members of the general public not to be worried about COVID-19 or security concerns as she says all necessary arrangements have been put in place ahead of the December 7 exercise.
Meanwhile, security personnel who turned up to vote at the Ashanti Regional Police Headquarters and could not find their names have been asked to vote at their respective polling stations on Election Day.
Although the disappointed personnel will not speak to Citi News, they have agreed to comply with the instructions from the electoral officers.
Citi News’ Diana Ngon reported from the Northern Region that, the voting process which was supposed to commence at 7am delayed for about thirty minutes due to the late arrival of ballot papers in the Tamale South constituency.
After the ballot papers arrived, voting commenced in the presence of two party agents, NDC and NPP.
“There were no long queues at the centre, as the Electoral Commission demarcated lines to ensure social distancing among voters. Voters were made to wash their hands before going through the process and sanitized their hands after casting their vote,” Diana Ngon reported.
“As at 11am, 115 voters had cast their votes out of 231 registered voters for the special voting exercise.”
In terms of parliamentary elections, four candidates are contesting the Tamale south seat including the Minority Leader who is the incumbent.