The Electoral Commission (EC) has swiftly moved to quash rumours some ballot papers for December’s presidential and parliamentary elections have been intercepted in the offices of a political party in the Upper West Region.
Pictures emerged on social media on Saturday afternoon of sealed and partly opened packages containing booklets believed to be freshly printed ballot papers, along with speculation that police had uncovered the package at the offices of an unnamed political party.
But the EC, denied the story, describing them as “wicked lies” propagated to create “confusion”. According to the commission, the pictures making the rounds were indeed ballot papers which had arrived at the Upper East Regional Police Headquarters, Wa, on Saturday morning in the presence of party representatives who took photos of them and subsequently splashed them on social media.
The EC’s full statement is published below:
The Commission wishes to call on the general public to completely disregard the false claims by activists of some political parties that these ballots were supposedly intercepted in another political party’s office. These were wicked lies deliberately calculated to cause confusion.
Below is the truth:
1. The printed ballots for the Upper West Region arrived at the Regional Police Headquarters in Wa this morning. The representatives of the political parties in the region were invited to witness the delivery process and confirm their seals on the bag. Some of these political party representatives took these pictures at the Wa Regional Police HQ. We are surprised to note that these same political party representatives are circulating these pictures with such ludicrous claims. This is totally irresponsible and unacceptable.
2. For the records, the printing process of the ballot was closely monitored by representatives of the political parties on a 24-hour shift basis.
3. There was also a 24-hour police protection of the ballot printing process.
4. Record was taken of every single ballot printed and at the end of the day, the printing house was closed in the presence of all political party representatives.
5. Every morning, the printing house was not opened unless the representatives of the political parties were present and printing did not start until all the representatives of the political parties were present.
6. After the ballot printing process has been completed, the ballot papers were packaged and labelled per constituency as below, and the political parties placed their uniquely numbered seals on the bags as below.
7. Even the movement of the ballots was closely monitored by the police and the political parties are duly notified.
8. On election day, the ballot paper is only valid if it bears the Commission’s unique stamps.
9. We would like to state categorically that it is totally untrue for anybody to claim that the ballots below were intercepted in another political party’s office.
10. The Commission would like to call on all political parties to stop this irresponsible behaviour deliberately calculated to cause public disaffection towards the EC.