Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, Charlotte Osei has revealed that journalists will be part of the Special Voting ahead of the 2016 polls.
Special voting is a facility provided by law to allow registered voters who will not be able to present themselves at their polling stations due to the role they play in the elections, to vote on a date before the rest of the electorates vote on the date set for the elections.
“There is a date where we will tell the stakeholders, all the parties who are entitled to special voting; security personnel etc… that by this date we must have the list because we must put you on the register for that polling station. For the media, there will be an accreditation process and when they finish, you will be included and then you can vote,” she said in an interview on Accra based Joy FM.
According to Madam Osei journalist have not been able to vote during special voting in the past because they were not captured in the Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) which gives elections a legal backing.
“…you were not allowed because that is what is in the C.I. and the EC did not sit somewhere to create the C.I. it was with stakeholders. This time the media will be part of the special voting process.” She explained that a date will be set for media houses to register their personnel.
Constitutional Instrument 75 (21) stipulates: “A voter may apply to the Returning Officer of the Constituency in which the voter is registered to be entered as a Special Voter if as a result of election duties the voter will not be able to be present at the polling station where the voter is registered on the day of election.
“An application for Special Voting shall be made not later than 42 days before the polling day in the Constituency of the applicant except in the case of an applicant who is a Returning Officer.”
The chairperson of the electoral commission also noted that the EC is considering a proposal of assistance that has been extended to it by the association of chartered accountants in the country.
According to her, the EC will need the expertise of the accountants at the collation centers.
The move forms part of the EC's attempt at getting recognizable professional institutions to help in the management of the November polls.