KOKROMOTI (thumb) POWER!
Your power; your vote!
After all the campaigns, debates, walks, propaganda and even door-to-door greetings are said and done, then comes the day of reckoning: December 7. The day voters release all the power that has welled up in their thumbs after the 4-year term of a particular party. The day politicians can’t sit, but stand; can’t stand either, and so pace the entire parameter of their homes or offices, arms folded or breaking knuckles until results are announced. Indeed, the stakes and tensions rise to levels unfathomable.
Hold your horses! It’s evident you’re excited about this power but you only get to wield it when you meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Citizen of Ghana
- 18 years and above
- Possess a voter’s ID
- Have a sound mind
- A resident or you belong to the electoral area
With the issue of eligibility settled, let’s get to know how the process unfolds with you (the eligible voter) at the core of it. The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana employs a number of processes in a bi to ensure transparency, fairness and credibility of the polls. The main stages include biometric/ manual verification, ballot paper issuing, use of secret ballot and voting booth, transparent ballot boxes. Before the aforementioned stages are done, the new normal sets the stage: adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Do wear a nose mask or face shield when going to your polling station to cast your vote. Make sure you have a sanitizer and some tissues. It is obvious that provision will be made for you to wash your hands at the station so kindly do so. Don’t forget to also maintain social distancing. You are to show up at the polling station with your voter registration card and do not jump the queue if any.
The voting process
- The very first thing to do after adhering to all COVID-19 protocols is to go through the biometric verification process. This involves placing your finger on an electronic device- Biometric Verification Device (BVD). If for any reason the device fails to recognize your details, the manual process will be conducted. A polling assistant will also check your particulars in the name reference list.
- The next thing to do is take a ballot paper (presidential) from the ballot paper issuer. A ballot paper is a foldable sheet with 3 sections: the face of the candidate, the party symbol and a section for the thumb print. Check if the ballot paper is stamped before you take the next step.
- Once you have the stamped ballot paper, move to the voting booth (it is a box-like structure that hides what you do from the public eye) where you make a thumbprint against the candidate that you desire. Ensure that you don’t thumbprint against multiple candidates or leave the ballot paper empty else it will be rejected. You do not want to waste your power, do you?
- Final step: fold your ballot paper neatly and drop it in the transparent box labelled “presidential”.
- Proceed to the next polling assistant for a parliamentary ballot paper.
- Move to the voting booth and thumbprint correctly the candidate you desire as MP for your constituency.
- Fold ballot paper neatly and put it in the transparent box labelled “parliamentary.”
Congratulations! You have casted your vote. Your power has manifested.
The law requires that a person after voting should leave the polling station. They can return at the close of polls for the count and result announcement. If you decide to return, please make sure not to get involved in the following electoral offences:
- Multiple voting
- Unnecessary interference
- Sale of alcohol within 500 meters of any polling station
- Putting foreign material into the ballot box instead of the ballot paper
- Selling or attempting to sell ballot papers
- Interfering with ballot papers or boxes
- Open display of party colours at the polling station or anywhere around it
- No-compliance with EC’s rules and regulations.
Know the 2020 presidential candidates contesting for your power
- Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo-NPP
- John Dramani Mahama-NDC
- Christian Kwabena Andrews-GUM
- Ivor Kobina Greenstreet-CPP
- Akua Donkor-GFP
- Henry Herbert Lartey- GCPP
- Hassan Ayariga-APC
- Percival Kof Akpaloo-LGP
- David Asibi Ayindenaba Apasera-PNC
- Brigitte Akosua Dzogbenuku- PPP
- Nana Konadu Agyemang-Rawlings- NDP
- Alfred Kwame Asiedu Walker- Independent Candidate
All the necessary information has been made available to you today, so step out on December 7 knowing who to vote for (floating voters should have made their decision by now) and how to go about it. Be health conscious and remember, electoral offences do not go unpunished! Be wise; never sell your power to any politician. Be smart; don’t be fooled to cause violence for any political party. Above all, be a Ghanaian; have Ghana at heart and stand for peace.
I am Naa Karley and I stand for peace.
Author: Naa Karley Quaye.