The IDEG-CFI Civil Society Election Situation Rooms (CESRs) said its assessment of the polls showed that they generally started on time at most of the polling stations despite slight delays at some stations, due to the late arrival of voting materials.

In a statement signed by Major General Nii Carl Coleman (Rtd), Chairman Civic Forum Initiative and Dr Kwesi Jonah, for Executive Director IDEG, said the polls picked up around 0730hrs and initial turn-outs have been generally impressive so far, evident in the long queues prior to the commencement of polls.

There was security presence in most of the polling stations which was complemented by National Service Personnel in some few places.

However, in a few polling stations there was no security presence at the start of poll. In areas where there were security threats, the Police responded to restore law and order.

The statement said IDEG-CFI observers reported that queues were formed before EC officials and polling materials arrived in most of the polling stations.

In most cases, voters comported themselves so there was orderliness in most of the queues.

However, there were a few incidents of heckling in queues but these were quickly resolved by the Police and the voters themselves.

There was also a huge presence of political party agents in all the polling stations and there were no incidence of disruptions during the process.

The statement said local and international observers were seen at most of the polling stations with their accreditation and this is besides the extensive media coverage and reportage of the polls.

It said most of the polling stations gave preference to People with Disabilities (PWDs).

“Pregnant and lactating mothers as well as the aged were given priority to vote. The visually impaired were also able to vote without any impediments,” the statement said.

Our observers reported that the measures put in place by the EC helped in addressing some of the issues. For instance, at the Mahd-Deen JHS Polling station in New Juabeng South Constituency, the back-up BVD had to be used when the primary equipment failed.

In areas where materials delayed, the Presiding Officers followed up and ensured that the materials arrived safely for polls to commence.

In some split polling stations, some voters were anxious about the possibility of not finding their names. Our observers reported that the Presiding Officers were able to calm them down.

From our observation at the start of the polls, we expect a very high voter turnout as well as a peaceful voting process.

Source: GNA/NewsGhana.com.gh

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