About nine million female voters are expected to cast their ballots during the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections, statistical data from the Electoral Commission (EC) indicates.
Mr Michael Boadu, EC Director of Training stated that out of the Voter Population-17,029,981 who are eligible to Vote on December 7, the number of female voters constitute 8,811,115 representing 51.7 per cent as against male figure of – 8,218,866 representing 48.3 per cent.
Persons with Disability on the voters roll is 44,548 representing 0.26 per cent of the total voter population: Lepers – 8.0 per cent, Hearing impairment – 11.7 per cent, Visually impairment – 52.6 per cent, and Cripple /Wheelchairs – 30.8 per cent.
Mr Boadu who was speaking at the fifth in the series training sessions organized by the Ghana News Agency to sharpen the reporting skills of the reporters and staff explained that 914 people were contesting for the 275 Parliamentary seats.
He said in spite of female domination on the voter’s register, only 126 Parliamentary Candidates were contesting as against 788 males.
He explained that 210,038 representing 1.23 per cent of total registered voters transferred their votes from one Polling Station to another; 109,436 representing 0.67 per cent will participate in the Special Voters – made up of Security personnel, EC officials, and Accredited Media personnel.
He said currently the EC had intensified Voter Education through TV/Radio Adverts, Dialogue sessions, Engagements and Interactions with Stakeholders and completed training of polling staff.
The GNA training focused on preparation towards the poll, an explanation of the legal framework of the nation, General Electoral figures, 2020 list of flashpoints, procedures for processing a voter, sorting and counting procedure for the upcoming Election.
Mr Albert Kofi Owusu, GNA General Manager in an address explained that the Board and Management of the agency considered training as critical in the preparation towards effective coverage of elections.
He said “we are building our capacity to ensure credible and transparent coverage of Elections 2020. We expect our staff across the country to produce feature stories, commentary, news story, breaking news, news piece, we must be on top of the coverage to feed the nation.
“We are transforming and incorporating dynamic skills into the daily newsroom work to improve the quality of our stories, while building editorial accountability to reflect the checklist of what journalists and stringers should produce on Election Day”.
He advised journalists to guard against prejudices, hate speech, stereotypes and misconceptions, “We must be careful in the use of content and language, while adhering to ethical guidelines on election reporting as spelled-out by the Ghana Journalists Association, and National Media Commission”.
He tasked journalists to adhere to the tenets of journalism, which hinged largely on balance, factual or accurate reportage devoid of personal opinions and insults.
“We have a Constitutional obligation as Journalists to protect the integrity of Ghana, ensure national cohesion at all times and create voice for the voiceless. We must at all times work towards peacebuilding”.32