False! Viral video of ballot stuffing not from Ghana

A video making rounds on social media on May 1, 2024, shows a man who appears to be an electoral officer stuffing papers into a ballot box.

The video which is being shared mostly on WhatsApp platforms is purported to be about a Ghanaian election and is thus accompanied by a text which reads:

“NPP methods of winning elections in Ghana now. So disgraceful and this is what they always get with the connivance of the EC officials and called it free and fair.”

The video’s emergence on social media follows the EC’s conduct of by-elections in Ejisu in the Ashanti Region on April 30, 2024.

The video has created some division on WhatsApp platforms on whether this is indeed from the just-ended Ejisu by-elections.

Fact-check Ghana has verified the video and presents the following findings.

Conducting a frame-by-frame analysis and reverse image search of the video, Fact-Check Ghana found that the video is emerging from Togo. The country has ended its legislative elections a few days ago.

Screengrab from the YouTube page

The reverse image search showed that the video had been published on YouTube by a channel belonging to one ‘Kwasi Mahenon’ some hours before it emerged in Ghana. The channel titled the video “TOGO: votes multitude” which is translated to mean: TOGO multitudes vote. The channel also had a description which translates as “Video of GATO KOSSI SOGBOLISSA”. Further checks showed that Kwasi Mahenon’s account has been publishing many other videos (see here and here) relating to Togo’s just-ended legislative or parliamentary elections.

The Republic of Togo held its legislative elections on Wednesday, April 29, 2024. The polls had been postponed twice from April 13 and April 20. It was finally held on April 29 with President Faure Gnassingbe banning protests by opposition groups against the postponement.

Photo of a Togolese Electoral Officer| Source: Getty Images by Issouf Sanogo

Also, the frame-by-frame analysis revealed that beyond the green colour of the electoral officer’s jacket which is unusual for the EC in Ghana, there was an inscription at the back of the jacket. Even though the inscription at the back of the officer in the video is not eligible, further checks showed that electoral officers in Togo wear similar jackets with the French inscription “COMMISSION ELECTORALE NATIONALE INDEPENDANTE”. This translates to mean “INDEPENDENT ELECTORAL COMMISSION”.

The evidence provided above proves that the ballot stuffing seen in the viral video was not done during a Ghanaian election as alleged.

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