Ghana News Agency (Accra) – The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) says it has observed that civic and voter education is generally low in Ghana.
A CODEO pre-election monitoring report is therefore urging the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission (EC) not to limit their civic and voter education to the conventional media, particularly radio, but also take advantage of community meeting platforms, street announcements and other ways of educating the public.
The report also says that voter education must be effected in line with COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
CODEO’s pre-election monitoring report is the culmination of comprehensive observation of the run-up to the 7 December 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections by 65 long-term observers (LTOs) across Ghana, starting from 1 September 2020.
The observers were deployed to 65 purposely selected constituencies, which included a mixture of constituencies in areas considered to be strongholds, swing seats, highly competitive constituencies and hot spots, including some constituencies in border areas of the country.
CODEO’s long-term observation was sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Expand on activities
The report says that since their deployment, the observers have been monitoring the general electoral and political environment, including activities of key election stakeholders such as the EC, the NCCE, political parties, the security agencies, civil society organisations (CSOs) and religious and traditional leaders.
The report also notes that there has been low visibility of CSO interventions to support the December elections.
“CODEO entreats CSOs and all election-related stakeholders to intensify their election support activities across the country, particularly in the area of violence monitoring and peace promotion,” the report says, “and educating the citizenry on their civic rights, duties and responsibilities to complement the work of the NCCE and the EC.”
The organisation reports that some disregard for COVID-19 health and safety protocols has been observed at certain events and activities organised by the political parties.
The report says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) are the two most visible organisations in the constituencies observed, as far as political and related activities are concerned.
The EC’s exhibition of the provisional voters’ register experienced challenges, says the report (published on 8 October), particularly with regard to names missing from registers at certain exhibition centres.
As such, the report urges the EC to take all necessary steps to rectify challenges identified with the provisional voters’ register so that all registered voters will be able to vote in the 7 December general election.
It further cautions all stakeholders to be mindful of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols to help minimise the potential spread of the virus.
CODEO also entreats CSOs and all election-related stakeholders to intensify their election support activities across the country, particularly in relation to monitoring violence, promoting peace and educating citizens about their civic rights, duties and responsibilities to complement the work of the NCCE and the EC.