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EC Shoots Down NDC’s Election Observer Drones

The Electoral Commission (EC) has shot down an attempt by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to deploy the use of drones as part of the party’s election monitoring mechanisms during the general polls in December this year.

The strategy  by the NDC to fly drones to monitor the polls was about to be explained into details by the Greater Accra Regional NDC Chairman, Nii Ashie Moore during a  recent meeting of the party but he was stopped by the National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketia.

“The Greater Accra Region, next week is going to train Constituency Executives; we would train them on how to use drones to monitor what happens in our,  …. National Chairman says the media is here so I would pause so that the media would not pick it up”, Ashie Moore noted.

The strategy has however been leaded and has become a topical issue. Various NDC spokespersons have explained that the idea was cultivated by the NDC Regional heads but the party is yet to complete detailed deliberations on it.

Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe was asked to comment on the development when he appeared on Joy News. and this was his response:

Dr. Serebour Quaicoe said though the EC has not been officially informed about the said strategy, he personally doubts its feasibility and approval if the request is made by the NDC

“What I know is that Polling Stations are security zones so they would have to apply to the security people for the permission to be granted. They would have to apply to the Electoral Commission for the permission to be granted.

“My point is that, how comfortable would you feel when you are going to vote  at a Polling Station and there is a drone hovering around you. How sure are you with respect to the secrecy of the ballot?”, Dr, Serebour Quaicoe noted.

He continued: “I don’t think it works. Here, I am speaking not for the Commission because as I said, they would have to apply. At times they would say it but they would not carry it through. It would be difficult for the Electoral Commission or the Police to give approval for people to be using drones at Polling Stations.

“The fact remains that polling stations are security zones and we have to ensure the secrecy of the ballot. So at the Polling Station where I am going to make my choice, I want to vote in that secrecy. That is why visually impaired persons have been given jackets so you do not see who they are voting for.  I would never be comfortable going to the polls and there is a drone hovering around me.”

Dr. Serebour Quaicoe said monitoring of elections have always been an integral part of the process and it is done by the EC, the media, party officials and even accredited domestic and intentional election observers who are given full access to every aspect of the voting process.

“The only thing that we want to avoid is that when the voter is going to make the choice, that one, the secrecy should not be compromised so that the person can vote according to his conscience. Apart from that, all the activities are so transparent that people have a feel of what is going on. If anyone is doing something contrary to what is supposed to be, then you call the attention”, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe added.

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