Nana Addo will clasp victory in the 2016 elections

Akufo Addo 11.08 Nana Akufo-Addo

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 Source: Badu, K

By K. Badu

On 7th December 2016, the eligible Ghanaian electorates will go to the polls to choose the politicians they so wish to steer the country to the right direction.

Although it has been documented that a conflation of effective campaign messages and a venerable candidate often win election (Baek 2009), a political party would be committing an electoral suicide for failing to closely monitor its opponent’s fiendish scheme.

For instance, it would be strategically suicidal for a political party to turn a blind eye to the scheming guiles of an opponent who has an inborn inclination for influencing the rural voters or the influential personnel such as the electoral staff.

Thus, it would be a huge mistake on the part of any political party not to devise effective strategies to counter such shenanigans of its opponent and only banking all hopes on the campaign messages and the venerability of the Flag-bearer or candidate.

The fact remains, though, that in our part of the world, the electoral management bodies, in conjunction with the incumbency, may clandestinely increase the votes of the incumbent government through a slew of operable schemes such as proxy voting, ballot stuffing; caging of the voters list; bizarre rejection of the opponent’s share of the votes; placing old and least reliable Biometric Verification Machines in the opponent’s precincts or strongholds.

The worst part of votes rigging, though, is the deserving winners’ may never know they ever won. How cruel, how pathetic and how unfair that would be?

In my opinion vote rigging has perceptible likeness to the violation of allegiance towards the nation. Therefore such a high crime must not and cannot be overlooked with a stark perfunctory.

It is, however, unfortunate that the electorates’ would go to the polls with a view to voting for their preferred candidate, and only for the people behind the scenes to select who should become a winner.

It is against this background that I am urging Nana Akufo Addo and the NPP Party to repel the Ghana Electoral Commission’s unlawful proposal about the proxy voting.

Of course, proxy voting forms part of our electoral laws. However, the Electoral Commission cannot autocratically introduce any illegal rule as it pleases.

Ironically, the Commission has unlawfully proposed that a proxy voter can pick up an application form in the absence of the principal applicant. How bizarre?

This is where I have serious problem. As a matter of fact, there could be serious breaches if we allow a prospective proxy voter to pick up application form in the absence of the principal applicant.

I am afraid we may have multitudinous ghosts voting on that day. For some conspiratorial plotters could scheme a fiendish plot to take advantage of the loopholes and ‘proxy’ for ghosts applicants.

Of course, a number of countries allow proxy voting in their elections, but the fact of the matter is that it is the main applicant who is allowed to pick up proxy form and not the proxy.

In the United Kingdom for instance, an eligible voter could appoint a close relative and up to two other people at the same election or referendum.

“Close relatives are the spouse, civil partner, parent, grandparent, brother, sister, child or grandchild of the applicant”.

More importantly, individuals can only act as proxy if they are 18 or over (16 or over in Scotland at Scottish Parliamentary and local government elections) and they are (or will be) registered for that election or referendum.

Moreover, in the United Kingdom, the principal applicant is obliged to give his/her date of birth and signature on the application form.

According to the electoral management body of the United Kingdom, this information (the date of birth and signature) is needed to prevent fraud.

The overarching question to the Ghana Electoral Commission then is: how are you going to detect fraud if you allow proxy voters to complete application forms in the absence of the main applicants?

Interestingly, however, critics of proxy voting claim that proxy voting may be susceptible to abuse.

In view of the fraudulent and unfairness nature of the proxy voting, some countries have ceased its application, or have modified the system.

For example, though various jurisdictions in the United States have historically allowed proxy voting, it is currently outlawed under federal law. “A similar but fundamentally different procedure, called absentee voting, is allowed”.

Absentee Voting allows registered voters of active-duty members of the Armed Forces, Merchant Marine, Public Health Service and their family members; and other United States citizens who are living outside the U.S. for work, school or other reasons to exercise their voting rights.

The foreign based U.S registered voters would simply fill a form and request for absentee ballot. The voted ballots can be posted, emailed or faxed (see: www.fvap.gov).

If, indeed, the Ghana Electoral Commission is allowing proxy voters to collect application forms at the blind side of the primary applicant, then I will daresay that such an unlawful rule will be susceptible to vote rigging.

So, if Nana Addo really wants to win the 2016 general election, he should as a matter of urgency, ward-off such a clandestine plot.

Columnist: Badu, K