CDD Advocates Standardised Procedure For Correcting Errors In Election Results

The Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is advocating a standardised procedure for correcting errors in election results as a proactive measure to prevent confusion at polling stations and collation centres. 

That, it said, was the way to go as the country strives to improve the electoral process in its quest for credible and violent-free elections. The Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, CDD-Ghana, Dr Kojo Pumpuni Asante, who made the call, said there was currently no law in the electoral process for how to correct mistakes. 

He said the situation gave room for election officials to use their own discretion to rectify mistakes, thereby creating a lot of confusion. He was speaking at a public dialogue on electoral reforms in Kumasi as part of a project aimed at promoting the implementation of electoral reforms to enhance the credibility and transparency of election 2024.

With funding from the European Union, CDD-Ghana is seeking to further consolidate the gains of electoral reforms over the years by providing a platform for stakeholders to address outstanding gaps to improve the process.

It was attended by participants drawn from political parties, civil society organisations, the National Peace Council, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), youth groups and the media, among other stakeholders. 

Dr Asante said errors were bound to happen during the collation of results and stressed the need to standardise the process of correcting them so that when it happens at any polling station, officials would follow a common procedure to rectify the error.

“That can be done by the Electoral Commission at its own level in terms of issuing directives as to how errors should be handled so that all the stakeholders will know the procedure when an error happens,” he submitted.

He said the quality of elections in Ghana had improved over the years through electoral reforms occasioned by gaps identified after every election, and the goal was to continue improving the electoral process.

“If elections are credible, it benefits all of us. So see yourself as a citizen first, whether as a media person, party representative or any other stakeholder,” he reminded the participants.

He said elections could be expensive but the principle that everybody in that society could have a say in who governs them could not be underestimated.  Elections, in relation to democracy, Dr Asante said, were like lubricants to cars, saying that without credible elections, leaders could not be chosen to govern, which could lead to political crisis.

“We must constantly improve to serve the principles that it represents, which are universal adult suffrage, the right of association, fair competition, free speech, transparency and integrity,” he noted. 

EC proativeness
Dr Asante applauded the Electoral Commission (EC) for being proactive in recent times and urged them to continue to engage all stakeholders in the implementation of reforms for the collective good of the country.

He walked the participants through the history of electoral reforms since the 1992 election and the progress made so far while underlining the need to address outstanding gaps to ensure credible and transparent elections.