Penplusbytes has launched a webinar series to interrogate emerging issues in Ghana’s election 2020. The Webinar Series will look at ways in which technology, pointed advocacy, as well as civic education can ensure there are no unfair restrictions placed on segments of the society, especially people with disabilities, young persons, the elderly and the vulnerable when it comes to exercising their democratic rights.
Executive Director of Penplusbytes, Juliet Amoah noted that “The appropriate application of technology to elections can increase administrative efficiency, reduce long-term costs, enhance political transparency and promote wider participation which all lead to trust in the electoral results and a truly credible Ghana elections 2020”.
“With the Covid19 pandemic raging on, this trust is already at risk and our electoral system under tremendous stress, and if nothing is done, we face a potential political crisis on top of the health and economic crises, which is why we think dialoguing about issues is crucial”, she added.
To tackle issues from an interdisciplinary perspective, so as to find solutions to the multifaceted issues of inclusivity, legitimacy and acceptance of fair election results in Ghana, Penplusbytes will convene a weekly panel of a diverse group of individuals, including tech experts, leading scholars and thinkers, policy makers and occasionally politicians themselves to tackle this issue from an interdisciplinary perspective.
The series will look at the role of new digital technologies in ensuring that all citizens can, and will, participate fully in the exercise of their civic right of vote casting, open up discussions on practical issues such as the type of technologies that are currently in use around the world and also reference non-electronic innovations and techniques which may aid in improving electoral processes.
The Penplusbytes Webinar series will also treat issues such as hyperpolarization and the threat to security, the spread of misinformation on social media and the weaponization of information in the public virtual space, election administration errors and the increasingly incendiary rhetoric around the fairness of Ghanaian elections. It will also have panelists drawing up comparisons between full on electronic and mechanical voting systems, empowering young people with the civic education they need and deserve to actively participate in Ghana’s democracy, offer solutions to possible voting day challenges unique to Ghana election 2020 among others.
Building on the first discussion on the challenges people with disabilities (PWDs) face during elections, a second session slated to take place on July 24, 2020 will have a panel of tech-experts mapping out low cost tech solutions that can be used to enable PWD Participation.
Besides its international appeal, which allows for divergent and discerning views of persons participating from across the globe, the Penplusbytes’ Webinar Series will also allow for corporate networking opportunities for its participants. The series will happen online via the Zoom app every Thursday till election day on December 7.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in four key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and enhancing oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources and health, environment and research.