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US Assistant Secretary of State impressed with Ghana’s election

Madam Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Assistant Secretary for African Affairs, has expressed satisfaction about Ghana’s 2016 election process, describing it as “pretty good” and “extraordinary professionalism” shown by election officials.

“Polling stations opened on time except one but officials made every effort- making phone calls until [voting] materials came, what I have seen so far gives me high confidence in the process,” Madam Thomas-Greenfield said.

She was speaking to journalists during a tour to the Social Media Tracking Centre – Penplusbyte flagship media hub – that seeks to use technology to promote peaceful elections.

Madam Thomas-Greenfield said electoral officials exhibited professionalism as they facilitated for the aged, persons with disability and security officers to go through the voting process.

She said with the way the voting process was going “we can feel very confident in the process, those in queues should be patient and make sure they cast their votes,” she said.

Mr Kwami Ahiabenu II, Executive Director of Penplusbyte, said the social media centre uses “Aggie social media tracking software, developed at Georgia Technology to monitor and respond in real-time to reports emanating from social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Whatsapp among others.

He said the information gathered is verified and quickly passed on to the national elections security taskforce, the Electoral Commission and other stakeholders for prompt action.

Mr Ahiabenu II said: “technology is playing a key role in Ghana’s socio-economic development and its application in the governance sector is no exception.

“This centre and its activities during the elections is clearly in line with our vision of being the leading institution for promoting good governance using technology.”

As at 1640 hours the system has generated over 130 thousand reports with 225 recorded incidents, 91 of which were deemed ‘escalated’ and 27 ‘flagged’.

Source: GNA

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