Election petition: NDC should’ve proved vote padding allegations with pinks sheets – Supreme Court Justice

One of the Supreme Court Justices who sat on the panel that adjudicated the 2020 election petition says the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was expected to prove their allegations of vote padding with pink sheets.

Speaking at a high level stakeholders forum to review the 2020 polls and its aftermath, Getrude Torkonoo said that the allegations of vote padding in the petition and the exhibit brought to court had different numbers.

Thus, a pink sheet instead of a spreadsheet would have accurately aided the petitioner’s case on proving whether or not there was vote padding.

“Some allegation had been put in the petition about vote padding and it was supposed to concern 5662 votes in 32 constitiuncies. But, on Exhibit F brought to court there was a spreadsheet alleging vote padding of 4693 votes in 26 constituencies.

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“So we said we would have expected that the pink sheet of those polling stations could have been exhibited to prove the allegations instead of a spreadsheet.

Former President John Mahama filing his election petition had five issues for the Supreme Court to address.

This fifth issue was for the the court to determine whether or not the alleged vote padding and other errors complained of by the petitioner affected the outcome of the Presidential Election results of 2020.

The Supreme Court in March ruled that although it finds the accusation of vote padding very serious it observed that this allegation was not proven by the petitioner.

The Chief Justice said that the judges are therefore settled in their minds that even if there was vote padding, it did not in any way affect the outcome of the election results.

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Explaining the ruling read by the Chief Justice, Her Ladyship Getrude Torkonoo said the court concluded that the vote padding which included some 4693 votes could not significantly impact the over six million votes recorded for the winning candidate.

She revealed that the court adopted a three fold method from the Morgan and Simpson case of 1975 to reach its verdict on vote padding.

She stated that, as mentioned in the English case, if the election was conducted so badly that it was not substantially in accordance with the law as to elections, the election is vitiated irrespective of whether the results were affected or not.

Also, “even though the election was conducted substantially in accordance with the law, nevertheless, if there was a breach of the rules at the polling stations and it did affect the results the elections will be vitiated,” she said.

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But, if the election was conducted substantially in accordance with the law, it is not vitiated by a breach of the rules or a mistake at the polls, provided it did not affect the results of the election.

“So consistently the court is looking at the result, whether they are a proper reflection and the law and rules of engagement was properly followed. So in our conclusion we enunciated this principle that an election will be voided upon the occurrence of infractions that actually affect the votes cast at the polling station.”

Source: Myjoyonline


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