The Electoral Commission is hoping to reduce spoilt and rejected ballots, at least, by 50 percent under its five-year strategic plan.
The plan is aimed at creating a world class, trusted and independent electoral body well positioned to better deliver on its constitutional mandate.
Out of 275 constituencies that voting took place in the 2012 general elections, only two - Kpandai in the North Region and Prestea Huni Valley in the Western Region – are said not to have registered any invalid votes.
Figures published by the Electoral Commission for the 2012 presidential election indicated that a total of 251,720 ballots cast were rejected outright, out of 11,246,982 votes put into the ballot boxes.
The rejected ballots were more than combined votes obtained by six presidential aspirants.
A breakdown of total votes gained by the presidential candidates is as follows: John Dramani Mahama (NDC), 5,574,76 votes; Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (NPP), 5,248,898 votes; Henry Herbert Lartey (GCPP), 38,223 votes; Papa Kwesi Nduom (PPP), 54,362 votes; Kwesi Adai Odike (UFP), 8,877 votes; Hassan Ayariga (PNC), 24,617 votes; Abu Sakara Foster (CPP), 20,323 votes; and Jacob Osei Yeboah (IND), 15,201 votes.
Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Mrs. Charlotte Osei admitted to the media Tuesday that her outfit has for years focused exclusively with political parties, which she suspected might have accounted for the high spoilt ballots.
She said the commission will therefore broaden its engagement to include public service institutions, civil society organizations, religious bodies and other recognized institutions.
“We also need to broaden voter education so that we can drive active participation, we can reduce rejected ballots by at least 50 percent and also ensure that the people understand and have confidence in the work that we are doing; and this we can only do through engaging better with our internal and external stakeholders,” she noted.
Story by Isaac Essel | myjoyonline.com | Ghan