The Electoral Commission (EC) has expressed worry at the high number of rejected ballots during national polls.
The workshop was to educate electoral officers and NCCE officials on the electoral process to enable them to educate and apply the processes in a manner relevant to them.
“It is a worry to us; we have undertaken various researches to understand why the issue of rejected ballots is on the high side,” Mr Alhassan Ayuba said.
“That is why the EC, in collaboration with the NCCE, is trying as much as possible to train our staff so that they would go out there to educate ordinary voters for them to understand and know how to validate their ballots so that come this election we would try as much as possible to minimise rejected ballots,” he added.
At the 2012 presidential polls, there were 251,720 invalid ballots, which was just 74,143 votes short of the 325,868 votes difference between the victor, President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress, and his closest rival, Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party.
That figure was, however, 80,117 votes more than the combined total of 171,603 votes garnered by the six other candidates in the residential race.
The Progressive People’s Party’s Dr Papa Kwesi Nduom (64,362), Great Consolidated Popular’s Party’s Dr Henry Lartey (38,223), People National Convention’s Hassan Ayariga (24,617), Convention People’s Party’s Dr Abu Sakara Forster (20,323), independent candidate Jacob Osei Yeboah (15,201) and United front Party’s Akwasi Addai Odike (8,877) followed in that order in the race for the Flag Staff House.
Mr Alhassan Ayuba said the EC’s five-year strategic plan, of which the workshop was core for the Commission’s staff to get to meet the demands of their jobs, was well on course to deliver good results for Ghana’s electoral process.
He expressed satisfaction with ongoing processes towards the upcoming elections, insisting that the voter registration, verification and other process already undertaken – including the Supreme Court’s request for the deletion of names of persons who registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme cards – had gone smoothly.
The Regional Director of the EC, Mr Azu Bosco Anyigre, said its communication on the electoral laws and regulations would help prevent confusion and create the right atmosphere for the process.
He said the collaboration between the EC and the NCCE had been a good exercise which had yielded positive results, particularly on account of the harmonious relationship the two outfits had developed towards the upcoming elections.
A retired journalist, Chris Alabilla, a communication resource person at the workshop, said staff of both the EC and NCCE needed to adopt simple language to educate the public for a successful voting process.