OPINION: Has the EC activated Phase 5 of NPP’s rigging machinery for DEC. 2020?

Jean Mensa, EC boss
Jean Mensa, EC boss

Just as sitting President, Akufo-Addo in his unconscious mind said “God made the NPP to come to power so Ghanaians can appreciate the NDC…”, Ghanaians now appreciate the competence of former President Mahama and the hope the NDC People’s Manifesto is giving to the future.

The only option left for Akufo-Addo is to rig the elections and it is no wonder Mahama has cut short his campaign tour since the December 2020 elections is now no more about issues but rather how to stop the Electoral Commission from helping Akufo-Addo rig the elections as phase 3 of the rigging machinery was activated during the exhibition of the voters’ register.

The rigging machinery of the EC and NPP as I will explain is in five phases as follows:

Phase 1: The removal of Mrs. Charlotte Osei and her replacement with Mrs. Jean Mensa as the chairperson for the Electoral Commission (EC). This is to make sure the EC chair becomes more accommodating and willing to do the bidding of the appointing authority.

This phase has been executed

Phase 2: Appointment of Supreme Court Justices.

This is to make sure that any issues that go to the Supreme Court is ruled in favour of the appointing authority including an envisaged post-election petition. This has been executed and so far we are seeing the results.

Phase 3: A new voters register to disqualify and intimidate voters in NDC’s strongholds from voting as well as tamper with the registration system to introduce gaps in the serialization of the registration count. Instead of the day starting with count 1, some started with count 5 or jumped from count 50 to 55. This was acknowledged by the EC. IT systems work with logic and this means the registration exercise must follow serially (i.e. sequentially). However, in effect that is not so since the total number in a polling station could read 500 but only 450 people actually registered on the day of registration. These blanks are to be backfilled later in phase 5.

Phase 4: De-duplication exercise. Ordinarily, this is expected but used to delete names of voters in NDC’s strongholds since it was not envisaged that citizens would go out to register in

Phase 3 with the intimidation and disqualification of people being labelled as non-citizens (i.e. Togolese). Also fake voter’s cards will be printed.

Phase 5: The exhibition of the provisional register. This is where the evils of phases 3 & 4 will be executed. The jumped serial numbers will be filled up with fake voter’s cards. This is how? Genuine names deleted but with voter’s cards will be asked to go to a centralized place, preferably the district office of the EC to be re-registered. At this point those with fake voter’s cards will also go to the polling station and would not find their names so would be asked to go to the district office to be registered as well.

The only way to detect this is for the political parties, especially the NDC to have a representative at the district office with a copy of the original end-of-day print outs of the initial registration. If the person’s name is not on the list re-registration should not be allowed.

Also, this is the stage to frustrate people who are not too committed to the process of registering to vote. How many people have the resources to go to district offices which may be quite a distance away? So, they will ignore and these will be filled up later with fake cards.

Phase 6: This is the actual voting day and a critical phase of the rigging machinery. Amidst security intimidation as if Ghana was at war and reminiscent of Ayawaso West Wugon by-election, in an orchestrated strategy to scare off fainthearted voters and possible bribing of NDC polling agents, the following is likely to happen: Firstly, majority of the biometric verification equipment will not be working properly and the excuse by the EC will be that they were not tested during the voter exhibition exercise. At this point, there will be no time to challenge and so they will have to rely on manual verification.

Secondly, there will be splitting of polling centers in mostly NDC strongholds into designated manual verification desks. One will not actually know which desk has your name to be manually verified until you go through the queue to be told it is the other desk. Do not forget the biometric system is not working. At this point some may just leave, especially the floating voters. The mitigating factor for the NDC is to have a polling agent for each desk and to have copies of the original registration end-of-day printout for each person to tick along as the people vote. Names not in the initial registration print out should be questioned and not allowed.

There is the tendency for the EC to say the person should be allowed to vote since the name is in the final register and a protest made later. This will be too late and results will be declared anyway. Worst case scenario is to go to the Supreme Court. Remember this has already been taken care of in phase 2. The advice to the NDC is to make sure that the cardinal rule with the EC now is that if a name cannot be found in the original end-of-day print out given during the registration exercise then the person cannot vote. Same mantra as the NPP in 2016 that “No Biometric Verification No Vote”.

Thirdly, in NPP strongholds where the rigging will take place, the ink to be used to indicate that one has voted will be erasable and not indelible. This will allow not only multiple registration in the same polling station but allow those who have been given fake cards to be transported after voting to other polling stations especially NDC strongholds to vote again. For NDC strongholds, this is to fill-in the gaps or deliberately cause over voting. Do not forget their names have already been included during exhibition exercise in phase 5. It is even possible that in the same polling station some of the ink will be erasable and some indelible. The NDC polling agents must be vigilant in recognizing which ink pad known NPP supporters are using and let all others use same. The EC should not be allowed to choose which ink pad to be used if there are multiple pads on their table. Note that there will not necessarily be over voting because the gaps are being filled unless for the targeted NDC strongholds where the plan would be to possibly cause over voting. We all know the ramifications of over voting.

Fourthly, ordinarily, each biometric verification system must have on it only the database of registered voters for the polling station since it is a distributed system and not centralized. It is possible to put multiple databases on a single system for polling stations that are close by. The modus operandi is that not all registered voters will turn up to vote so where the turnout is low at a particular polling station, the EC official can monitor the count and allow people who have already voted in other polling stations but have their database in another polling station to vote again. Remember the ink these people will use is erasable. They would have voted early and will still be there waiting for the signal. The multiple databases will be deleted after the exercise. Note that; there will not be over voting because they are filling in the gaps by the absentee voters.

Phase 7: This is the final stage and it is the meet me in court if you have issues phase. Whatever issue the NDC will have with this whole exercise on voting day will have to be determined at the Supreme Court and you know what has happened in phase 2. NPP would say they followed rule of law when they had issues so NDC should do likewise. The results may even be declared by zoom by the EC Chair on the pretext of following COVID-19 protocols.

I have deliberately ignored the possibility of causing chaos and changing the ballot boxes with pre-stuffed boxes or stuffing existing boxes with pre-thumb printed ballot papers because this is an old school method.

Akufo-Addo asked Ghanaians to try him. He has been tried and like he unconsciously said his coming was to let Ghanaians appreciate Mahama. Now what are his options for 2020 aside rigging? Hmmm… a word to the wise is enough!

By Kwame Asiedu – Opinions published on this website do not represent the views of Daily Mail GH

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