September 25, 2020
Clickongh

We’re determined to register all eligible voters — EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has given a firm assurance that it is in pole position to register all eligible Ghanaians in the ongoing voters registration exercise.

The Chairperson of the commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, who gave the assurance, said no qualified Ghanaian who would turn up at a registration centre would be left out.

At a press briefing in Accra on Friday, she explained that as of Wednesday, July 15 (Day 16 of the exercise), 7,279,237 people across the country had registered.

Using the average daily registrants of 600,000, the EC boss added that over eight million people would have registered as of yesterday, July 17, 18 days into the mass voters registration exercise across the country, representing 55 per cent of the expected eligible voters.

Optimism

Based on the figures, Mrs Mensa expressed optimism that although the registration exercise was not without minor challenges, the EC was committed to compiling a credible electoral roll that would not disenfranchise any eligible voter.

While emphasising that the EC had a watertight mechanism for reporting accurate figures, she urged any stakeholder who had issues with the accuracy of the figures to come with evidence for the necessary action to be taken.

“What we have are provisional figures, but we have a process of due diligence in place, so after the provisional figures are given out, we do proper checking to ensure that we get a very credible register,” she added.

She stressed that the EC was committed to transparency, accountability and fairness in the electoral process, as required of it by law.

Regional breakdown

Giving a regional breakdown of the figures as of last Wednesday, the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Asare, said the Greater Accra Region had the highest figure of 1,524,600  registrants, followed by Ashanti with 1,319,498, while Eastern and Central had 694,541 and 676,484, respectively.

The Volta, Western and Northern regions followed with 447,254; 440,858 and 434,601 registrants, respectively, while the Bono Region settled for 293,284 registered persons.

In the ninth position is the Bono East Region which had 261,503 registered voters; while the Upper East Western North and Upper West regions followed in that order with 251,134; 196,819 and 194,894 respectively.

The Oti and Ahafo regions followed with 148,111 and 144,961 registrants while the Savannah and North East regions completed the list with 126,980 and 123,715 registered persons respectively.

Special registration

Touching on the EC’s special voters registration exercise in the prisons and senior high schools, he said officials of the commission would continue the registration on Saturday, July 18.

“We are using this medium to tell the political parties that they may send their agents to the SHSs and prisons without registration centres to observe the exercise,” he added.

He said the special registration of persons with disability (PWDs) and the aged would continue in the various district offices without break.

However, he added, officials undertaking the main registration exercise would take a break today ahead of the beginning of phase four of the mass registration on Sunday, July 19.

So far, so good

Dr Asare said contrary to claims by some political parties and stakeholders that the registration process had been fraught with daunting challenges, the EC had risen to the occasion and resolved all hitches.

For instance, he said, biometric registration kits that had technical challenges on Sunday, July 12 had been fixed and were functioning properly.

Additionally, he dispelled claims by some individuals that the EC had deployed 40 per cent of the old biometric registration kits for the ongoing exercise.

He said the commission procured 8,530 registration kits and deployed 90 per cent of the equipment, while the remaining were on standby.

“The old registration kits had removable batteries, but this new equipment haas its batteries embedded and cannot be removed. Also, HP laptops were used for the old registration, but the new system uses Dell laptops. We challenge anyone with contrary evidence to come out and prove it, so that we can all clear the perceptions about the registration system,” he said.

Source: Politics