We are just about 5 minutes away from the official closing of Ghana’s polls, 5pm. Ghanaians have been voting since 7 o’clock this morning. And I must say Ghanaians have exhibited willingness to be a part of democracy by playing an active part in the process which chooses who will lead Ghana from 7th Jan 2013. A few issues have been very significant in this year’s elections.
1. Free Senior High School Education has been the main topic: Unlike the previous elections in Ghana, this year’s process has been centered on a promise put forth by the biggest opposition party, the National Patriotic Party (NPP). The possibility and timing of a Free Senior High School education in the country has been the main debate, and will undoubtedly be the main issue Ghanaians will be voting on today. Whiles the incumbent National Democratic Party (NDC) believes the timing is not right for such an initiative, the NPP is bent on pushing it as its main agenda should they win the elections.
2. Ghana lost its President this year: When Ghana lost its President in July 2012, it meant doom for the NDC which had pegged John Evans Attah-Mills as its candidate. After he passed away, his vice President took the mantle and this has been campaigning for less than 3 months in this election season. That means that, if the President had not passed away, he would have been the one on the ballot sheet today instead of his vice.
3. Ghana goes bio-metric: This will be the first time Ghana incorporate the bio-metric technology for verification purposes. This means that registered voters will be required to go through a verification process before a they are allowed to vote. If the individual is not verified by the machine for any reason, he/she will not be allowed to vote. Currently there are submissions of various challenges faced by the polling stations. In a few places, these verification machines have broken down, run out of battery or just froze.