Executive Director of the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), Professor H Kwasi Prempeh has said that Ghana will require a representative of an independent third party such as an accredited domestic election observer (or two) also witness the Electoral Commission (EC) sign pink sheets and declaration of results at the collation centre or/and, at the minimum, be given a copy of the certified declaration.
This, he said, should be the next area of reform in Ghana’s election administration in order to assure the security, transparency, integrity and finality of the collation process.
Prof Prempeh noted that this has become necessary due to the growing divided partisan trust in the elections management body.
In a Facebook post, he said “Are our elections still won–and lost–at the polling station (2012), or are they now won (and lost) at the collation center (2020)? Is the ballot/ballot box, and thus the voter, still king, or is the pen/signed pink sheet of the constituency returning officer the new king on the block?
“Have we graduated from the polling station to the collation centre as the focus of election shenanigans and disputation? Or has the exceptional, if opportunistic, bipartisan interest in Parliament in the “aftermath” of these divided elections simply highlighted a pre-existing but oft-ignored issue?
“In the CDD 2020 Pre-Election Survey, there was one finding that intrigued me. An unusually large percentage of Ghanaians (44%) believed that, ‘even after all ballots are counted, an incorrect result will be announced.’ I wasn’t quite sure what to make of this finding.
“However, with the collation center tallies emerging as the new battleground in the war for state capture between our two warring factions (a.k.a. political parties), I think I now understand the worry and suspicion of those 44% of voters. But how an exercise that is supposed to be merely an exercise in arithmetic aggregation could get this highly controverted between rival parties and partisans simply beats me.
“No doubt the next area of reform in our election administration is to assure the security, transparency, integrity, and finality of the collation process. Given the growing divided partisan trust in the EC, I think we should consider having a representative of an independent third party such as an accredited domestic election observer (or two) also witness the EC-signed pink sheet and declaration of results at the collation center or/and, at the minimum, be given a copy of the certified declaration (to be forwarded instantaneously to their national principals), just in case!”