Election 2020: Big Tension over Electoral Commission Register Mess

The flagbearer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and his running mate, ex-President John Dramani Mahama and Professor Jane Naana Opoku-Agyeman respectively, have cut short their campaign tour of Ghana to face the Electoral Commission (EC) following revelations that voters data captured in the new voters’ register has been corrupted on the EC’s system.

Insiders tell Whatsup News that at the current state, the register cannot be used for the December 2020 general elections, unless the data issued has been thoroughly addressed.

On his official Facebook page, John Mahama wrote: “I am cutting short my tour of the Bono Region to return to Accra because of the increasing reports of challenges with the voter register and the exhibition process. We’ll address a major press conference on the issues in due course.”

The EC started it scheduled voter exhibition on September 18,2020, for registered voters to confirm their details in the register, however, so far, thousands of people are complaining that their names have been hacked off the register.

The situation is gradually escalating civil agitations, particularly as it is emerging that most of the omissions are coming from strongholds of the NDC.

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According to information gleaned by WhatsUp News from insiders that the major mess emerged when the EC attempted to transfer voter data onto its system. It was discovered that most of the data have been corrupted and irretrievable, sources say.

Apparently, during the just-concluded new voters registration exercise, EC officials had been instructed to do offline registration on the Biometric Voters Register machines (BVR) with intent to transfer data into the EC’s system later.

Election 2020: Big Tension over Electoral Commission Register Mess
Election 2020: Big Tension over Electoral Commission Register Mess

However, when the time came for the transfer to be effected, the EC’s technicians realized that a lot of the data that had been captured offline had somehow been corrupted and made irretrievable.

In one Polling station, for instance, 2000 voters were registered, but 100 names were retrieved from the data transfer. This means that if nothing is done, over 1,800 people who registered at the centre will not be able to vote during the elections.

Earlier, the EC had hinted that the brand-new register was bloated with foreigners, and minors, and had appointed a committee to manually correct those alleged anomalies. However, critics fear that the election management body headed by Jean Adukwe Mensah was up to some foul play to facilitate the rigging of the forthcoming elections for the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP).

Investigative journalist, Kevin Ekow Taylor thinks that the entire situation is part of a grand agenda of the EC to rig the December 2020 elections for the ruling NPP.

It is believed that the EC has been forced to consider the possibility of reverting to the old register. However, the conundrum with this tentative decision is that Constitutional Instrument (C1) 94, which governed the 2016 elections has been amended by Parliament.

The amendment was what made way for CI 126 which is supposed to govern the 2016 elections.

Meanwhile, the new BVRs that the EC has brought into the country, are said to be only 5,000, a number that is very inadequate for the whole of the country which operates over 30,000 registration centres.

Should these reports be confirmed, the EC boss, Jean Adukwei Mensah would have wasted some GHC 443 million which was the budget for the new register that critics fruitless contested as needless.

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Source: Whatsupnews Ghana

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