The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has deployed 30 trained, accredited, non-partisan, stationery and roaming observers to observe the Talensi by-election. 25 of the 30 deployed CODEO Observers are stationed at representative randomly sampled polling stations spread across all the 22 electoral areas in the constituency, while the remaining 5 observers are conducting roaming observation across the 74 polling stations.
This mid-day situational statement is based on reports CODEO has received from the roaming and stationary observers deployed in the constituency. It focuses on the setup and opening of polls and voting across the constituency as of 12:00 noon today (i.e. Election Day).
Opening and Voting
CODEO Observers noted that voting generally started a little late between 7:15am to 7:45am at most of the polling stations, due to delays in setting up polling centres. CODEO Observers also reported that EC officials generally adhered to voting procedures. A few voters had challenges with the verification device and had to try more than once before being recognized by the device. For instance, two (2) people could not be verified by the biometric verification device at Yamsuk polling station in the Yameriga Electoral Area. Another person could not be verified after several attempts at the Tongo Zuobeongo Old Court polling station in the Tongo Electoral Area and was subsequently turned away. There were however back up biometric devices at most of the polling stations observed.
Setting Up of Polls
Reports from CODEO Observers indicate that almost all polling stations were set up so voters could mark their ballots in secret. Almost all polling stations were accessible to persons with disability and the elderly. At the time of set up, CODEO Observers reported that all materials were available for voting to commence. The National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the Peoples National Convention (PNC) had their polling agents present in almost all polling stations observed. The Ghana Freedom Party (GFP), the New Vision Party (NVP) and the Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) also had agents at some polling stations.
Presence of Security Personnel
CODEO Observers reported seeing an average of two (2) uniformed security personnel at post at the polling stations observed. CODEO Observers further reported few interruptions at some polling stations but these did not disrupt the voting process. For example, at the Sapaat polling station in the Pusu-Namogo Electoral Area voting was interrupted briefly when a gentleman was spotted holding a Notice of Poll at the polling station campaigning for a candidate. Also at Wakii Primary A in the Wakii Electoral Area, voting was suspended for about 30 minutes due to allegations of money sharing at the polling station to influence voters. Calm was subsequently restored and voting continued afterwards.
So far, CODEO in this mid-day report can confirm that the arrangements put in place by the EC for setup and opening of polls were adequate for most polling stations observed.
CODEO is still observing and receiving reports from its network of deployed observers and will share its final report with the general public.
CODEO appeals to all stakeholders, including voters, the political parties and their supporters, to remain calm and be law abiding throughout the voting and the collation processes. CODEO reiterates its call to the EC, especially the EC temporary staff to remain neutral and professional in the conduct of their duties.
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