“On Election Day, security officers are to provide security cover for the movement of election officials and materials,” the EC stated in Election 2020 Guide to Voters,” manual made available to the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
Mr Kwame Amoah, EC Greater Accra Regional Director, told the GNA that Security Officers detailed to Polling Stations should note that candidates, political party members, observers and voters in general have the right to equal security with respect to their lives and properties.
He explained that before the polling day, “it is the responsibility of the security personnel to safely keep special voting ballot Boxes and their contents which are deposited with them, until the close of voting on Election Day.
“At least a security person is required to maintain order at a polling station and work under the directives of the presiding officer who is the ultimate authority at the polling station.
“It is the duty of the security officers to escort election materials to the polling stations, maintain law and order during polling, counting and escort results and other electrical materials to the collation centre.
He explained that the Guide outlines further that; “the Security officer is also required to ensure that all election materials are safe and secure. To this end, they must escort or guard the materials, where necessary.”
According to the EC, it is also the responsibility of the security officer to maintain law and order at a collation centre.
The security officers are also mandated to ensure that the queue of voters is orderly, take all necessary measures to prevent violence or any activity that threatens the safe conduct of the election.
The Security Officer is to carry out lawful instructions from the presiding officer or returning officer or a senior officer of the Electoral Commission in relation to the arrest of persons who violate the law, stand at the end of the queue, “if any, at 17:00 hours to ensure that no person enters the queue after close of polls”.
The Commission warned security personnel not to take part in actual administration of the elections.
“Security Officers are forbidden from checking the Identity Cards of the voters, take part in the counting of the votes, harass or intimidate any candidate or voters, assist any person to vote or tell any voter who to vote for and do anything that would suggest that they favour a particular party or candidate,” the EC stated.