The 2020 general election of Ghana is one that promises to be fiercely contested as the stakes are higher than ever. A former 1-term president and a sitting president battle it out to secure a final and second term. Clashes between the NPP and the NDC during the Ayawaso by-election in January 2019, and more recently the Odododiodio constituency are evidence that the overall security can be interfered with or compromised by hoodlums/suspected vigilantes. It is important that we safeguard and ensure personal security prior, during and after polls. The following are useful considerations; our quick guide;
Before Election Day
- Locate your polling station in advance.
- Familiarize yourself with the voting process.
- Keep a close tab on political events with possible security implications around your area.
- Avoid any long-distance travels (especially inter-regional) a few days clear to the elections so as not to be trapped in possible violent clashes.
- Ensure you locate your delegated queue if any when you get to the polling station.
- Keep close eyes on the voting process as you join the queue and await your turn.
- Ensure you carry your voter ID card before departing your home.
- In case you will be going in your car, park it away from the polling center.
- Do not take children along to the polling center.
- Avoid wearing clothing or carrying items with company or political insignia which may give you unwanted attention. Also, avoid wearing heavy pieces of jewellery and items of value.
- Ensure your phone is fully charged and take a spare battery if available.
- Consider going to your polling station in groups or with people you are familiar with.
- Avoid engaging in political discussions at the polling center as these could easily turn violent.
- It is advised that you depart as soon as you are done casting your vote.
- In the event that suspected vigilantes invade the polling center or attempt to snatch ballot boxes, leave the vicinity immediately.
- Do not accept gifts or handouts of any kind at the polling station.
- Bring along water as there will be long ques outside
- Keep your vote safe. Do not disclose who you voted for.
- Avoid any political discussions after voting.
- Monitor local media and other sources for regular updates of the security situation and keep all Emergency Contact Numbers handy.
- Whatever the outcome of the elections, be moderate in your discussions
- Do not be lured into possible post-election protests if your favoured candidate does not win.
- Be reminded that you are primarily responsible for your security.
Most importantly, participate and VOTE during this Election because voting is your civic responsibility.