The Electoral Commission (EC) has hinted of plans to appoint “COVID-19 Ambassadors” at polling stations across the country on Election Day to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairman of the commission in-charge of Corporate Services, said the job of the COVID-19 Ambassador at each polling station was to ensure that all the COVID-19 protocols were observed.
“We are going to ensure that the COVID-19 Ambassadors are giving the relevant training, to function very well,” Dr Asare stated in Accra, during a virtual panel discussion on day one of the STAR-Ghana Foundation two-day virtual learning event to mark the end of the first phase of its Elections 2020 Call programme.
He said the Commission was not relenting in its efforts to provide safer polling stations for voters and called for the support of all.
Dr. Asare said in 2016, the threshold for each polling station was 850 voters-no polling station exceeded 850 voters in 2016; stating that “but because of the pandemic in 2020, the Commission is saying, that the maximum number of voters per registration centre is 700”.
“... any registration centre that has more than 700 people, we are going to split them into “A” and “B”.
He said in the Commission’s estimation, those centres were about 6.000. So, all the 6,000 centres that have registered more than 700 people or there about, we are going to split them into “A” and “B”.”
“So, when you are going to vote, depending on the alphabetical order of your name, you will be either in polling station “A” or polling station “B”.”
Dr Asare said the idea was that the Commission needed to make sure that they reduced the queues at the polling stations.
“We are working with 33,357 polling stations but because of the splits, we may end up having almost 40,000 polling stations.”
He said the EC had also placed the nomination forms online for the candidates; adding that each political party had been given a particular code to be able to access the system online, to contain COVID-19.
Dr. Asare said for the submission of nomination forms, political parties were allowed to do so with a maximum of five people so that they could observe social distancing.
He said for the December polls, only students and security forces taking part in the national election task force would be permitted to transfer their votes.
Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, Chief Executive Officer, STAR-Ghana Foundation, said the Foundation had committed $250,000 towards phase two of its Elections 2020 Call programme.