Mr Michael Boadu, the Director for Training, Electoral Commission (EC), has said that collation of the December 7 election results will be carried out using a three-tier arrangement as against the two-step approach used in previous elections.
Hitherto, he said, collation of results was done at Constituency offices and moved straight to the National Office for final collation and declaration of results.
Under the current arrangement, however, collation would happen at the Regional Offices before proceeding to the National Office.
Mr Boadu said this new development would ensure that as election results moved from one Collation Centre to another, number of results to be collated would be reduced.
“For instance, a constituency with 100 polling stations will collate results from 100 polling stations but when it moves to the Regional Office, say Ashanti Region, with the highest number of Constituencies, would collate about 41 constituency results and finally, at the National level, only 16 regional results would be collated,” he said.
Mr Boadu made the disclosure at an EC training programme organised in Accra for the Editorial Staff of Ghana News Agency (GNA).
The training seeks to empower the GNA staff and reporters with requisite knowledge and understanding to provide balance coverage of the election.
He said the addition made to the collation process would not hamper transparency as agents of the various political candidates would be present at each Centre to observe the process, after which copies of the results would be made available to them and published at the centre.
Mr Boadu said as part of preparations towards the polls, EC was carrying out voter education across the country together with television and radio advertisements.
He said the duty of election observers was to simply gather facts about elections and interpret the facts to determine whether the processes involved were transparent or not.
“The voting system has been made so transparent by the EC such that everyone can partake in it and do their personal collations. Media practitioner must first know the rules governing elections in order to report well,” he said.
He said allegations should not be reported as facts and reports should also include things the EC did well.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, General Manager of the GNA said the training was necessary because it would help increase professionalism in the election reportage of the Agency.
Mrs Beatrice Asamani Savage, the Director of Editorial, GNA, said it was important for journalists to always rely on experts to gain the requisite knowledge to improve their work.
She urged reporters to apply the knowledge acquired to distinguish themselves from their peers on the Election Day.