Proxy vote is still possible -EC official
Barring any unforeseeable challenges, there would be proxy and transfer of votes in the 2012 general elections, as it has always been over the years, the Electoral Commission (EC) has hinted.
The only difference, compared to earlier general elections, is that eligible voters who would want to assign people to vote on their behalf or transfer their votes from one polling station to another have forty-two days, instead of the twenty-one days, to notify the EC before the final day of the polls.
This, according to the Director of Information, Communications Technology (ICT) of the Electoral Commission, Hubert Akumiah, would afford the EC enough time to adequately make provision for such a demand, especially, with the coming into force of the Biometric Voters Register.
“This year, we will take transfer and proxy of votes very early, other than the actual date for the polls. This will help us to make adequate provisions for such demands,” noted Mr. Akumiah.
He made this observation during an interactive session with members of the Parliamentary Press Corps at a workshop at Ho at the weekend.
The event was meant to build the capacity of the Parliamentary Press Corps on election reporting. It was under the theme: “The Role of the Parliamentary Reporter in the 2012 General Elections.”
Proxy voting is simply when an eligible voter assigns or delegates someone to vote on his or behalf, when he or she for some reason(s) is unable to be present for such an exercise.
With this, eligible voters wanting to make such a demand have until October 26, 2012, to notify the EC about their intention, failure of which the application would not be granted.
According to Mr. Akumiah, the provision of proxy and transfer of votes in the upcoming general elections has a legal backing in the C.I. 75, which is currently before Parliament, awaiting approval.
Many registered Ghanaians, especially, those outside the country, as well as those having physical challenges, have for decades, resorted to proxy voting whenever there is a general election.
In May 2012, the fear of not having proxy voting in the 2012 general elections heightened when a newspaper reported that such an exercise was in danger of being eliminated from this year’s election, especially, with the introduction of the Biometric Voters Register.
However, with the pronouncement by the Director of ICT at the Electoral Commission, such fears have, therefore, being allayed.
As to how the exercise would be carried out, Mr. Akumiah stated: “When a person assigns a proxy, that person’s data is retrieved, reviewed, and verified for the proxy to vote.”
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