The Electoral Commission (EC), has in a 28-page guide outlined 21 specific acts which constitute severe electoral offences which is punishable under the laws of Ghana.
The punishments are meant to deter offenders from committing any of the 21 offences with the view to ensure free, fair and transparent elections.
Electoral offence is described by the EC as an act or omission in connection with polls under the Criminal Offence Act 1960, Act 29 or the Electoral Offences Laws or Regulations.
According to the Commission, illegal acts or omissions have been outlawed and yet previous elections have recorded illegalities.
As a matter of fact, several acts that make up election offences require particular attention.
One such act is the practice where a voter snaps a picture of his or her thumbprint, before casting a vote and making it public afterwards.
According to the Ghana Police Service, that is an electoral offence and is punishable by law.
Without doubt in previous elections, many voters snap their thumprinted ballot papers and publish them on social media simply as a show-off or proof of voting for a particular candidate and party.
The police say that constitutes serious offence and anybody caught in that act would be dealt with severely.
The Director General of Police Operations, Commissioner of Police, COP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, who made this known in an interview with The Ghanaian Times, reminded voters that their votes are secret and must remain secret.
“It is a serious offence for anybody to do that and anybody caught in such act would be arrested and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others”, COP Yohuno warned.
Indeed, the position of the police in this matter is clearly in line with the position of the EC and therefore, all are expected to abide strictly by the laws and regulations guiding the conduct of the polls.
We are confident that everyone in Ghana wishes for a credible election and therefore, would not indulge in electoral offence.
The warning issued by the police should be enough advice to all those who may be planning any mischief on Election Day.
We are hopeful that this advice would be heeded by all, and all the electoral laws observed to ensure a peaceful, transparent, free and fair polls.
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