The Electoral Commission (EC) has fixed December 4 for Special Voting by those who would be on duty on Election Day, Friday, December 7.
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.”
Mr Kwadwo Safo Kantanka, Deputy Chairman of the EC in Charge of Operations stated in Accra that those expected to cast the early votes include members of the Ghana Armed Forces, Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Customs Division of Ghana Revenue Authority, Ghana National Fire Service, EC officials and staff of essential services.
The EC Deputy Chairman who was speaking at public dialogue dubbed: “EC dialogue with Parliamentary Candidates,” was organised by the Commission in collaboration with DFID for candidates from Ablekuma, Ayawaso and Okaikio sub-districts.
Information available to the Ghana News Agency indicates that special polling stations have been mapped out by the EC for the exercise and voting starts at 0700 hours and ends at 1700 hours.
Constitutional Instrument 75 mandates the Returning Officer to ensure that the ballot boxes are sealed with the seals of the Commission as well as candidates who wished to add their seal.
The boxes would be transported to safe places for storage and opened only after the main election day on Friday, December 7.
The Returning Officer is also mandated to arrange for the ballot boxes to be opened at the time of the counting of votes cast on the polling day and the ballot papers “shall be counted in the same manner as those contained in the ballot boxes used on the polling day”.
Seven political parties and an independent candidate are contesting for the single Presidential slot, whilst about 1,331 Parliamentary Candidates are contesting for the 275 seats in Parliament.
The Presidential Candidates for the political parties and how they would appear on the ballot paper are: President John Dramani Mahama of National Democratic Congress (NDC), Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, New Patriotic Party (NPP), Dr Michael Abu Sakara Foster, Convention People’s Party (CPP) and Dr Paa Kwesi Nduom of Progressive Peoples Party (PPP).
The rest are Mr Hassan Ayariga, Peoples National Convention (PNC), Mr Akwasi Addai Odike, United Front Party (UFP), Mr Henry Lartey, Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) and an Independent Candidate, Mr Jacob Osei Yeboah.
Since 1992, Ghana has had uninterrupted democratic practice, conducting five globally acclaimed successful elections.
According to the EC the positions would be the same for parliamentary candidates, with independent candidates coming after candidates of the political parties in alphabetical order.
Constituency statistics obtained by GNA indicates that 111 parliamentary candidates are contesting for 26 seats in Western Region; 106 contesting for 23 seats in Central Region; 204 for 34 seats in Greater Accra Region; 125 for 26 seats in Volta Region and 152 for 33 seats in Eastern Region.
Two hundred and nine parliamentary candidates are contesting for 47 seats in Ashanti Region; 128 for 29 seats in Brong- Ahafo Region; 154 for 31 seats in the Northern Region; 63 for 5 seats in Upper East and 59 for 11 seats in Upper West Region.
The statistics indicates that only the NDC and NPP are contesting for seats in all the 275 constituencies; PPP is contesting for 211; National Democratic Party 155, CPP 145 and PNC 94.
Others are Democratic People’s Party 16; United Freedom Party seven; Independent Peoples Party five; GCPP two; United Renascence Party four; New Vision Party four; Ghana Freedom Party three; and Yes Peoples Party one.
Hundred and twenty 120 individuals are contesting as Independent Parliamentary candidates.
The statistics indicates that eight are contesting in Western Region; six in Central Region; 21 Greater Accra Region; 16 Volta Region ; 17 in Eastern Region ; 18 Ashanti Region; 10 in Brong Ahafo Region; 18 in Northern Region ,two in Upper East Region and four in Upper West Region.