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EC proposes new time for voting

Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, has announced an ambitious goal of ending voting at 3pm instead of 5pm.

Current election regulation requires that voting is held between 7:am and 5:pm, but the EC is seeking to reduce this by three hours to facilitate a speedily vote count.

The Commission is currently holding a two-day election review workshop with political parties and other stakeholders to assess the 2020 election and design modalities for elections ahead.

According to the EC chairperson, who announced several new proposals for future elections, this proposal will improve the nation’s electoral processes if implemented.

“We propose closing the polls at 3:pm rather than 5:pm. In 2019, we announced our decision to close the polls at 3:pm rather than 5:pm in the 2020 Elections.

“Nonetheless, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic and the stringent and necessarily time-consuming safety protocols we instituted at our polling stations, we were compelled to put this proposal on hold.”

She continued that;

“Over the past months, however, this proposal has re-surfaced from various sections of the public, and indeed, our own experience from the 2020 Elections has revealed that it is a workable proposal, as, by 1:pm, most polling stations were empty, suggesting that this is a workable proposal. Therefore, this is a reform we intend to put forward.”

Among other things, the EC also wants to register eligible voters all year round.

“We further propose a year-round exhibition system that will enable citizens to check their registration details on their smartphones and other mobile devices. Citizens would not need to wait for an exhibition exercise to check their details. They will be able to do so, all year round,” she said.

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