The Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Asare, has called on political party agents monitoring the ongoing mass voters registration exercise to desist from recording details of newly issued voter cards into their own poll books.
At the third edition of the ‘Let the citizen know’ series at the EC headquarters in Accra last Monday, Dr Asare said the practice, which had come to the attention of the commission, was unlawful.
“Some agents of political parties at the registration centres collect the voter ID cards of applicants and take some details from the cards, including asking for applicants’ phone numbers. The commission wishes to clearly state that this is not part of our electoral laws, and the agents of political parties should desist from doing that,” he said.
He said registrants should not give the voter ID cards issued to them by the commission to the agents of the political parties at the registration centres.
Dr Asare, who was giving an update on the voters registration exercise to the public, said the commission was determined to compile a clean register but needed the support of all stakeholders in the electoral process to achieve that mandate.
For instance, he said ‘parliamentary candidates and operatives of political parties’ must desist from transporting people from one district to another to register.
Dr Asare said operatives of political parties should also not be fronting for people who were not Ghanaians to illegally register in the exercise.
He said although the challenge system that had been put in place to ensure that foreigners and minors did not get registered was essential in the exercise, it ought to be based on evidence of people violating the rules on voters registration.
Dr Asare said it was essential for political parties to educate their agents on the electoral processes to avoid challenges that were needless.
Greater Accra leads
Providing data on the current number of registered voters in the ongoing exercise, Dr Asare said the Greater Accra Region would register the highest number of voters if the trend of registration remained the same.
He said voters in the Greater Accra Region alone could constitute more than 20 per cent of the new voters roll.
“If the current trend we are witnessing continues, it means the Greater Accra Region alone will constitute more than 20 per cent of the total registered voters in the country,” he said.
Dr Asare said the commission registered a total of 4,445,346 voters within the first 11 days of the exercise.
“The Greater Accra Region leads with 20.9 per cent of the registered voters. Ashanti Region follows with 18.4 per cent, and the Eastern Region is at distant third at 9.5 per cent, with the Central Region at 9.4 per cent. The North East Region is at the bottom with 1.7 per cent,” he said.
Dr Asare said the number of voters registered currently was only 30 per cent of the commission’s target of 15 million by the end of the exercise in two weeks.
As a result, he said the commission would speed up the registration process by doubling the number of centres to be able to register 10 million voters in the next two weeks.
“The commission has ramped up the registration with the doubling of the centres we did last week. This means we are likely to witness an increase in the numbers registered on a daily basis this week,” he said.