2023 District Level Elections: There is no need for indelible ink – Jean Mensa

The Chairperson of Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, has justified the commission’s decision to do away with the use of indelible ink in tomorrow’s district level elections.

Since 2012, the commission has been applying indelible ink stain to the forefinger of voters in both the local assembly and general elections to prevent incidents of double voting.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the December 19 polls, the EC chairperson said the introduction of the biometric verification technology in 2020 has made it impossible for a voter to attempt to vote twice on Election Day.

During the voter registration process, biometric kits were used to capture biometric details and identity of each individual voter onto the register.  

Mrs Mensa stated that, ‘‘because of biometric technology, your [voters] facial features are recognized, or fingerprint is recognized and verified, you cannot go second time. And therefore, there is no need for indelible ink which had been in place since the beginning of 2012 when we were not using biometric’’.

A total of 18,580 candidates representing 17, 474 males and 1,106 females are vying to represent 6,215 electoral areas in the various metropolitan, municipal and district assemblies for the next 4years.

Meanwhile, 40,923 males and 5,413 females are also hoping to be given the opportunity as Unit Committee members for their electoral areas.

Per the local governance system, each electoral area is required to select 5 persons as Unit Committee members to complement the work of the elected Assembly member.

Over the years, voter apathy has always characterized the local assembly elections, but the EC chairperson said the commission has done enough education and are expecting that, many people will show up tomorrow to cast their ballot.

‘‘This is a complex election. We are printing close to 14,000 different ballot with different photos for each of the electoral areas. That is why you see that we’ve taken the trouble to do extensive advertisement,’’ she noted.

Voting is expected to begin at exactly 7am and ends at 5pm across all polling stations in the country.