Former Chair of the Electoral Commission (EC) Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan has told political parties that they shouldn’t hire just anyone to work as polling agents.
Afari-Gyan requested that the parties not appoint “nonentities” as their agents due to the significant importance of the work that an agent is responsible for.
Speaking on Wednesday, February 8, at a lecture that was organized by the Rotary Club of Accra West, he stated, “Fortunately, in some elections I have seen some big people serving as agents; they don’t go and recruit nonentities to go and do the work at the polling stations, it is brainwork.” He made these remarks while delivering a presentation at the event.
Afari-Gyan explained that political parties need to get polling agents who understand the electoral system and who will be able to use the appropriate approach to raise objections when they suspect that things are not being done in the correct manner.
Dr. Afari-Gyan explained that the work of a polling agent does not involve physical conflict but rather mental labor.
Dr. Afari-Gyan said that not signing the “pink sheet,” as it is called in Ghana, does not mean that the election results are automatically wrong.
“Some candidates are under the impression that the results cannot be trusted if the agents do not sign their names. We have been informed that some candidates go so far as to tell their parties, “If I lose very badly, don’t sign it,” in the mistaken belief that the document will be deemed invalid otherwise.
No, simply ignoring the request to sign the pink sheet will not automatically result in the results of the election being declared invalid.
“According to the law, what must we do? According to the law, if you do not want to sign it, you are required to give a reason in writing at the polling station as to why you do not want to sign it.
The electoral commission will then investigate the reason that you gave for not signing it later. Ignore it if you can confirm that you have not written anything along those lines.
Therefore, it is essential to keep in mind that working as an agent at a polling station requires mental effort; it is not a brawl, it is not a fight, and you are not going to fight at the polling station; rather, it requires mental effort, and the individual must understand what is going on in order for him to be able to bring these issues up.
“I have stated numerous times that, in my opinion, given the significance of pink sheets, nobody is too big to serve his or her party as an agent on election day.” I think nobody is too big to serve his or her party as an agent on election day.