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Ghana’s electoral commission wants to reduce the voting time in the country, here’s why

The Electoral Commission (EC) in Ghana says it has plans to reduce the voting time in the country.

Jean Mensah, EC Chairperson

The commission wants to reduce the time from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., instead of the 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. which has been the case in all elections over the years.

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The Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, announced the plan at a three-day international conference on election-related violence in Accra on Tuesday, September 10, 2019.

The move, she noted, is to allow for the counting of ballots and collation of results before night falls and to facilitate the early declaration of election results.

That, “ultimately, will help reduce the tension and suspicion that manifest when the nation is waiting for the results of general elections,” she added.

Mrs Mensa further said voters usually waited until a few hours or minutes for polls to close before joining the queues. This usually took the end of voting, counting and collation into the night and compromised the security of ballot boxes and electoral officers.

“Changing the time would, on the whole, inure to the benefit of Ghana's electoral system and engender peace during polls,” she added.

About the Conference

The conference was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Secretariat. It to last for three days.

It is a three-day course programme which is aimed at creating a forum to discuss how to mitigate or prevent election-related violence in the sub-region.

Participating member states, civil society and regional organisations will make short presentations to share experiences and good practices in a bid to ensure peaceful elections.

The conference has become imperative because in 2020 and 2021, 10 African countries will go to the polls to elect presidents and legislators.

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