Experience of a first time voter

Tabloid News of Sunday, 9 December 2012

Source: Graphic

A woman believed to be in her late twenties took observers and voters by surprise when she struggled to cast her vote at a polling station at Dodowa in the Greater Accra Region.

The woman looked confounded, terrified and shaken when she was given ballot papers to vote Friday.

She murmured in Twi ” I have not voted before. I have not done this before,” and attempted to dash to her husband for assistance.

It all started when she attempted to communicate with her husband after she had been given the ballot paper for the Presidential elections at the Presby Boys Chebitenya Polling Station to cast her vote.

She was stopped mid way by the Presiding Officer while moving towards her husband who was then standing at a distance for guidance.

For almost 10 minutes, the Presiding Officer, Ms Paulina Akatse, educated her on the dos and donts of elections.

Although, able bodied and sound minded, the woman appeared not to have a clue on how to cast a ballot.

She pleaded with the Presiding Officer to allow her to consult her husband but the Presiding Officer stuck to her guns and insisted the proper thing must be done.

Realizing there was not much “help” in sight for her, the bewildered woman gave up, went to the ballot box and cast her ballot the way she could.

She left the polling station looking tearful and stating “I have never voted before.”

Meanwhile, voting was generally peaceful in the Shai Osudoku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region which has 71 polling stations.The atmosphere at the polling stations and the Dodowa township as a whole was serene.

According to electoral officials, voting started at exactly 7 am. Aside the Dodowa Post Office which recorded problems with the verification machine, there were no incidents at the other polling stations.

Security officials detailed to maintain law and order, virtually had a field day as they paced up and down leisurely observing proceedings.

Most of the polling stations had recorded high voter turn out as at 12 noon.

For instance, electoral officers, polling agents and security officials looked relaxed at the Ghanata and Kpankpo polling stations as at 12:55 p.m. because majority of voters had cast their ballots in the morning.

The Constituency, was initially part of the Dangme West District but has now been made a district and a constituency.

Story by Mabel Aku Baneseh