District Level Elections: Close Of Poll Statement

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) deployed 700 trained, accredited, non-partisan rapid response observers to observe the District Level Elections (DLE) organized by the Electoral Commission today, September 1, 2015. CODEO deployed 500 Stationary Observers in 500 sampled polling stations in 86 districts (See Annex A for the list of districts). In addition, close to 200 roaming CODEO observers were deployed in the selected districts. CODEO released a situational statement this afternoon capturing its observers’ reports on the setting up, and opening of polling stations. This close of polls statement by CODEO is focused on the voting process, security of polls as at close of polls pending counting and declaration of results by polling officials of the Electoral Commission. Generally, CODEO Regional and District Supervisors reported that voting took place in a calm and peaceful atmosphere at most of the polling stations. Information from Regional and District Supervisors indicated that no major incidents such as intimidation and violence occurred at the polling stations they monitored. However, there were a few cases of suspension of electoral proceedings, breakdown of Biometric Devices, inability of some voters to verify their bio data and/or having their names missing from the voters register. For example, • At the Saeedia Islamic Primary school polling station of the Sagado Electoral area in the Bawku Municipality in the Upper East region, the battery for the Biometric Device run-out; this delayed the voting process for 45 minutes (from 3:00PM) until it was replaced at 3:45 PM. • At the Antoboase JHS in the Obuasi Municipality, 2 voters could not be verified. Also 3 voters could not be verified by the device at Bosome Freho districts. Again, in Bosome Freho district, 4 prospective voters could not find their names in the voters register. • As reported in the CODEO mid-day situational statement, the police increased their presence at the Nkyenekyene Electoral area of the Kwahu South district in the Eastern Region where voting was disrupted because demonstrators demanded that government fulfills promises made to them during the 2012 elections. Though the police managed to bring the situation under control, the electorates still did not come out to vote. As at 3:00PM, only 21 out of 309 registered voters had cast their ballots. Conclusion CODEO Regional and District Supervisors reports suggest that voter turn-out was generally low across the districts where they observed. CODEO Observers will continue to observe the counting and declaration of results after close of polls, and a detailed preliminary report will be issued thereafter. We appeal to all contesting candidates to remain calm as we await the final results from the Electoral Commission. CODEO also calls on the security agencies to remain vigilant so as to contain any possible disruptions during the processes of counting and declaration of results. CODEO’s District Assembly and Unit Committee elections observation is made possible with the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Ghana Signed: Mr. Albert Kofi Arhin CODEO Coordinator (For and on behalf of CODEO)