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NGO intensifies efforts to reduce spoilt ballot paper in northern region



Political Parties, religious leaders and stakeholders in the Gusheigu district have resolved to ensure that rejected and spoilt ballot papers are reduced to the barest minimum in this year’s election.

They made the commitment at a day’s workshop organized by NORSAAC in Gusheigu. It was to formally introduce the Strengthening Community–led initiative for Peace and credible Elections (SCOPE) project to stakeholders which initially started with four districts in the northern region.

The districts include Tolon Tamale, Central Gonja and West Mamprusi districts. The project focuses on peace and rejected ballot reduction in the northern region.

The SCOPE is aimed at increasing the interest of other CSOs in the thumbprint right campaign, especially with the use of party free ballot booklets. The project seeks to increase the quality of voting by conducting an inter-household mock exercise for voters and stakeholders to ensure quality voting.

It was done in collaboration with the Gusheigu district assembly and the electoral commission with funding from Star-Ghana. The workshop was attended by political party representatives, NCCE, elders, stakeholders and religious leaders.

Speaking to participants at the workshop, the Gusheigu District Chief Executive (DCE), challenged the people of Gusheigu to eschew activities that can lead to violence during the elections.

According to him, Gusheigu is placed second in the list of flash points in the northern region, which he said, is nothing to be proud about. Responding to a question as to how the visually impaired would be able to vote, an EC officer indicated that measures have been put in place to enable them to vote without unnecessary interference.

He therefore appealed to residents to embrace peace during, before and after this years’ elections.

Speaking to Zaa news the Karaga/ Gusheigu Zonal Manager of NORSAAC, Mr. Mohammed Ukasha stated that out of the 99 polling stations in the Gusheigu district, the SCOPE project is targeting 13 polling stations that recorded high numbers of spoilt ballot papers during the 2012 elections.

As part of its activities, SCOPE would identify what he called 52 thumb printing clinic facilitators in the 13 polling stations, four from each polling station to be trained next week.

The project will be extended to the Tatali/Sanguli and Kumbungu districts. Two communities such as Wawuo and Zantili in the Gushegu district were also visited by the team.

By; Lilian D.Walter/

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