Election 2012: EC snubs GJA over special voting

The Electoral Commission (EC) has insisted the media will be excluded from the special voting exercise in the December general elections.

According to the Commission, the new law guiding this year’s elections excludes the media from the special voting exercise therefore a special system will be put in place to allow media personnel and other groups to vote early on December 7.

The Ghana Journalist Association (GJA) on Wednesday petitioned the EC over their exclusion from the special voting citing the crucial role the media plays during the elections.

Speaking to Citi News, the Acting Public Affairs Director at the EC, Christian Owusu- Parry said its presiding officers will be educated to grant the media special access at the various polling stations across the country.

“The EC cannot make any arrangement that is contrary to the law. The media like the rest of the electorates will vote on the 7th of December and it means the media if they want to observe and report have to go to the polling station early, to be able to go through the process and go back and carry out their assignment as media men.’’

Mr. Owusu-Parry further explained “what we can do, will be for us [Electoral Commission] to talk to our presiding officers to give some kind of preferential treatment to the media personnel who will come to their polling station. And those media personnel may have to show that they have been accredited to go and observe the poll. They can vote without joining the queue and then they can go and carry out their work as media personnel.’’

On the issue of accreditation, he stated that all groups seeking for accreditation should submit an application as early as possible to his outfit “or forget about it.”

“All media men must route their application through the GJA and ask them to put their names on their list of people they are asking accreditation for. We have to process it and be able to print ID cards for them.”

“If it comes too late we may not be able to process it,’’ he warned.

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