EC Rubbishes NDC Overprinting Claim

Jean Mensa – Chairperson of EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has denied outright overprinting ballot papers ahead of the December 7 polls as alleged by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).

In a statement on the subject the Commission rubbished the claim by the NDC that there has been an overprinting of the ballot papers by the state-owned Assembly Press one of the entities engaged in the process now underway.

“This is untrue and we entreat the public to disregard this falsehood,” the statement said.

“It has been a standard practice for the commission to print ballot papers in excess of five percent (5%) to cater for instances such as spoilt ballots. This has been the practice since 1992 and the present commission has not changed this policy. In line with this policy, all Printing Houses have been directed to print the 2020 ballot papers in excess of 5% for all thirty eight thousand, six hundred and thirty (38,630) Polling Stations across the country.”

The commission said“ a booklet cannot be printed for 90 voters. A booklet of hundred (100) ballots will be provided. After adding a contingency of five percent (5%)to the 90 voters, the number of ballots would increase to some ninety five (95) ballots.”

However, since that Polling Station can only be provided with a booklet that contains 100 ballots the Commission added that “there will be an excess of five (5) ballot papers. This is the situation that pertains in several Polling Stations. This cannot be avoided because it is impossible to print separate booklets for each Polling Station based on the number of registered voters at that particular Polling Station.”

The commission said this has been the practice and the NDC is fully aware of.

Political parties have representatives at the Printing Houses who monitor and keep a 24-hour watch of the printing process.

Serial Numbers

On the allegation of the EC not providing the political parties with the serial numbers of the ballot papers the commission explained that it has never provided the parties with serial numbers of ballot papers.

“The commission cannot generate the serial numbers of all 17million plus ballot papers.”

It is a standard the commission explained that “serial numbers are generated by the printing houses and are provided to both the commission and political parties after each batch of printing is completed.”

The printing houses engaged to print ballot papers since 1992 include the Assembly Press and the NDC used them all the time they were in power including 2016 but are bizarrely accusing the commission for reasons best known to them.

By A.R. Gomda