Declare Half Working Hours for Workers on Election Day – STRANEK-Africa
STRANEK-Africa wishes to, first of all, congratulate the Electoral Commission of Ghana and Ghanaians for a successful voter registration exercise despite some lingering issues. With 16,983,306 registered voters for the December 7th, 2020 election, it has become judicious for STRANEK-Africa to suggest to the Government of Ghana to consider declaring half working hours for workers on the day of the election.
In the year 2016 with 15,712,505 registered voters, 10,713,650 voters cast their ballot according to the Electoral Commission of Ghana. This means that in as much as 167,349 votes were recorded as blank or invalid votes, 4,831,506 registered voters did not vote on December, 7th, 2016. The implication is, there is more room for improvement so far as voters coming out to cast their ballot is concerned.
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It is indeed trite knowledge with regards to the constitutional right of Ghanaians to vote so far as one has registered as a voter (article 42 of the 1992 Constitution). However, we are of the opinion that, a declaration by Government of Ghana backed by an instrument asking workers (except essential workers) to work half of their maximum hours of work, will go a long way to compel employers to allow their workers to close for the day when workers have exhausted half of their hours of work.
Most Ghanaians enjoy traveling to their hometowns to cast their vote. Thus, if a declaration by Government of Ghana backed by an instrument is passed, it will give workers the chance to travel to their hometowns to cast their vote on the day of general elections and even those who will also move from one constituency to another constituency, electoral area to another electoral area since their place of work may not be where they vote.
A time should come where Ghana should boast of 99.9% voter turnout on the day of elections and we are hopeful that as we identify the challenges plus propose solutions to reduce the number of voters not voting during general elections, those solutions or suggestions are implemented. Then, Ghanaians can be more confident that our democracy is being strengthened day after day.
We are all involved in building our motherland Ghana.
Adjoa Tima Boafo
Director of Gender and Social Policy
Nii Tettey Tetteh