Focus more effort on tackling rejected ballots

Deputy Chairman of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr. Samuel Asare Akuamoah, says helping the voter to properly thumbprint the ballot paper during voting, must be made an urgent priority.

This was necessary to reduce the unacceptably huge number of rejected ballots seen in every election conducted in the country, he noted.

He was speaking at a day’s workshop held in Kumasi for news editors, broadcast journalists, managers and owners of the print and electronic media houses drawn from three regions – Ashanti, Brong-Ahafo and Central.

The programme was organized by the NCCE with support from the European Union (EU) and the goal was to sensitize them to use their platform to promote and assist the people to live up to their civic responsibilities.

“Strengthening civic education through media advocacy”, was the theme of chosen for the workshop.

Mr. Akuamoah asked journalists to see civic education as a shared responsibility, adding that they should do more to aid everybody to play by the rules.

He rejected suggestions that the NCCE was under-performing and heard of only when it was about time to hold elections.

The Commission, he said, was a strong force, with a clear programme guide and had been performing its core mandate.

Mr. Paul Boateng, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), asked the media to avoid doing anything likely to fuel tension.

It should rather ensure civility in the political discourse – devoid of intemperate language to grow the nation’s multi-party democracy.

He again reminded journalists to refrain from the conduct of sham and unscientific opinion polls.

He appealed to religious leaders to use their influence with the people to encourage political tolerance and responsible behaviour.

Mr. Sulemana Brimah, Executive Director, Media Foundation for West Africa, urged the media to be smart and refuse to do the bidding of politicians. GNA

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