Election 2016 Proxy voting process is an open window for rigging - LMVCA

A statement signed by the convener of the group, David Asante said: “The absence of a clearly defined process for the submission of the proxy application, coupled with the apparent secrecy surrounding the entire process, fuels suspicions of foul play by the EC."

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EC chair, Charlotte Osei

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Pressure group, “Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA)” has expressed worry about what it calls the lack of transparency on the part of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) in the ongoing proxy voting application exercise.

A statement signed by the convener of the group, David Asante said: “The absence of a clearly defined process for the submission of the proxy application, coupled with the apparent secrecy surrounding the entire process, fuels suspicions of foul play by the EC."

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”The LMVCA is skeptical about the unorthodox way in which the proxy application is currently being carried out. The usual practice under Regulation 25 of CI 94 is that it is the eligible voter who has determined that he/she is unable to vote on Election Day, who picks up the application form. Yet, in the ongoing proxy application exercise, the press release signed by the EC PRO makes it open for both the Applicant and the Proxy to be able to pick the Proxy application form. This deviation is not only puzzling, but also opens the floodgates for fictitious applications,” the statement added.

The Electoral Commission (EC) on August 17, 2016, began a 40-day exercise to accept the application for proxy voting during general elections on December 7.

The exercise, which is expected to end on September 26, 2016, will enable an eligible voter to delegate someone to vote on his or her behalf when he or she is unable to be present during the Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

Below is the full statement from the LMVCA:

LMVCA : ON-GOING PROXY APPLICATION PROCESS IS AN

OPEN WINDOW FOR RIGGING!!!

The Let My Vote Count Alliance (LMVCA) is deeply concerned about the lack of transparency on the part of the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) in the ongoing proxy voting application exercise.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2016, the EC issued a press release announcing that the proxy voting applications would commence the very next day, Wednesday, August 17, 2016 and end on Monday, September 26, 2016. Thus, the exercise commenced hurriedly without any substantial public education on the process. Indeed, the surreptitiousness surrounding this exercise gives cause for great concern as it suggests that the EC is willfully keeping the electorate in the dark about the entire process of proxy voting.

The LMVCA is skeptical about the unorthodox way in which the proxy application is currently being carried out. The usual practice under Regulation 25 of CI 94 is that it is the eligible voter who has determined that he/she is unable to vote on Election Day, who picks up the application form. Yet, in the ongoing proxy application exercise, the press release signed by the EC PRO makes it open for both the Applicant and the Proxy to be able to pick the Proxy application form. This deviation is not only puzzling, but also opens the floodgates for fictitious applications.

The absence of a clearly defined process for the submission of the proxy application, coupled with the apparent secrecy surrounding the entire process, fuels suspicions of foul play by the EC. 

Although according to CI 94, a proxy application may be done not less than 42 days before Election Day, the fact that proxy applications are being opened 113 clear days before the election and spanning a period of 41 days is outlandish and calls for a high alert.

The LMVCA wishes to reiterate that the future of democracy in Ghana hinges on the processes and outcome of election 2016. Some of the most inalienable virtues in the every step of an electioneering body is transparency, inclusiveness, fairness, and integrity. It is therefore extremely crucial that the EC conducts its affairs in such a manner that would restore the waning confidence of the public in its ability to conduct credible elections.

Thank you.

David Asante

Convener

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