Director for Training at the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana, Mr. Michael Boadu has disclosed that the Commission made total savings of GH¢523,409,908, equivalent to US$90,243,100 in the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections compared to the 2016 elections.
Mr. Boadu said the EC spent GH¢40.78 on each voter for the elections, which is far lower than what was spent during the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
“The 2016 elections cost the state GH¢70, approximately $13 per voter, but in the 2020 elections the cost was GH¢40.78 translating into $7.7,” he said.
The reduction, he disclosed, was achieved due to strict measures taken by the Commission to ensure transparent and fair procurement.
Mr. Boadu indicated about 95 percent of procurement were done through open-competitive tendering that resulted in savings.
“With the exception of the printing of ballot papers, which had security implications and the production of TV and Radio adverts, all other procurement were done openly through newspapers.”
He said the cost of the elections was hiked by the cost of procuring Personal Protection Equipment (PPEs) for 240,000 staff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr. Boadu noted that there were 38,622 polling stations during the registration, exhibition and on the Election day; and the Commission procured PPEs such as sanitizers, hand washing stations, liquid soap, tissue paper wipes and thermometer guns for all these polling stations.
He explained that unlike 2012 and 2016 when most of the offshore items came by sea, the 2020 items had to be transported by air because the covid-19 pandemic impacted the production and supply of these same items.
He added that during 2012 and 2016, the Commission enjoyed some tax exemption but in 2020 the Commission paid full tax for all offshore items that added up to the cost.
The Commission, he said, would have even saved more, which is still better than the 2012 and 2016 elections.
“The materials procured for the replacement of voters register was for an estimated 18 million persons. In 2016, however, preparation was made for some three million persons,” he said.
“Again in 2020, the Electoral Commission used 44,067 Registration Officials over 38 days; over 71,734 Exhibition Officials for over 10 days and over 231,732 Election Officials for one day,” he added.
The Director said between 2016 and 2020 they increased the number of polling stations by 10,000, which meant that the Commission hired 146,122 more staff working on exhibition and Election Day alone and yet managed to reduce the cost per person by almost half.