Disregard ‘mischievous fake ballots’ for Ayawaso by-election – EC
The Electoral Commission (EC) is asking the general public to ignore images circulating on social media purported to be ballot papers for the January 31 by-election for the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency.
With barely 24 hours to the much anticipated election, the EC in a statement said these widespread ‘fake’ ballots have been designed by some” mischievous members of society who have planned to spread fake news and videos in order to create fear and panic and cause disaffection for the Electoral Commission”.
“The attention of the Electoral Commission has been drawn to fake images circulating on social media purported to be ballots for the Ayawaso Wuogon By-election slated for Thursday 31st January, 2019. The said images are accompanied by a publication to the effect that the ballots were seized from a group of men in the bushes near the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA).”
According to the EC, no individual should pay attention to the ballots as they bear the Charlotte Osei logo it dumped at the latter part of 2018.
“The purported images are fake and should be disregarded by well-meaning Ghanaians. The so called ’ballots’ bear the old logo of the Commission which was discarded by the Commission last year. The new logo, which is on the surface of the authentic ballots, bears the Coat of Arms of the State, an eagle, a ballot box and a hand casting its vote. The alleged logo displayed on the ballots in the photos being circulated is not the logo of the Electoral Commission”,
“The Election Commission urges well meaning Ghanaians to ignore the fake news and videos, which mischievous members of society will seek to flood the social media space with in the coming days and months. We are aware that these elements in our society are planning to spread fake news and videos in order to create fear and panic and cause disaffection for the Electoral Commission. Their activities are aimed at discrediting and impugning on the integrity of the Chairperson and Deputy Chairpersons, Commission members and the Election as a whole”, the statement also mentioned.
Printing of ballots
The EC insisted that its ballot production procedure undergoes tough security and policing routine such that there is no way it could land in the hands of unscrupulous persons.
“For the records, the process of printing ballots is meticulously policed by all the political parties in an election, and security agencies. Selected political parties’ agents remain at the printing houses all through the process. Once printing is completed, the ballots are transported to the nearest police armoury under the supervision of the political parties and the police. The transportation process is also monitored and policed until the ballots are securely locked up in the armoury.
“The Electoral Commission remains committed to conducting credible, transparent and fair elections that will uphold the sovereign will of the people”, the EC concluded.
The Ayawaso West by-election
The Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency seat became vacant following the death of the New Patriotic Party Member of Parliament for the constituency, Emmanuel Kyeremanteng Agyarko.
The by-election is being held despite a lawsuit by the NDC Constituency Chairman against the EC challenging the January 31, 2018 date set by the Electoral Commission for the by-election.
Although, the Electoral Commission has expressed its preparedness to conduct a transparent poll, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is already crying foul accusing the EC of frustrating the party, a claim the EC has shot down.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), has also deployed a total of 30 observers to observe randomly selected polling stations across the various electoral areas in the constituency.
Meanwhile, the police have said they will ensure a peaceful poll.