Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has set April 18, 2020, as the date for the compilation of the new voters’ register amid calls to get the move suspended.
A Deputy Chairperson of the EC in-charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey said the exercise is expected to be completed by May 30, 2020 after which an exhibition exercise will be conducted from August 15-28, 2020.
According to the Daily Graphic, the EC plans to deploy 8,000 registration devices for the exercise which will be rolled out at 32,000 polling centres nationwide.
The EC, according to the state newspaper, also intends to adopt a system where four polling stations will be merged to form a cluster to ease the process.
Providing more details on the exercise, the EC says it will use a period of 43 days for registration by spending 10 days at a cluster plus a five-day mop-up.
According to the electoral body, persons who will be registering for the first time will have their residential address, parents name and other essential biodata captured.
Additionally, Ghanaians who wish to have their personal information updated in the electoral roll will have to provide proof to make such changes.
The EC is hopeful that the registration will be conducted in a fast mode because it is just adding the fingerprints and facials of persons who have already registered as all other existing data with the Commission remain intact.
The EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register as well as upgrade its election management system has been met with stiff opposition.
The processes are to be undertaken with some GHS390 million approved by Parliament weeks ago for that and other purposes.
But a number of stakeholders including some opposition parties and Civil Society Organizations have kicked against the EC’s intention, urging it to at least consider it after the 2020 polls.
Some other political parties including the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and pro-government social groups have thrown their weights behind the EC, although the NDC and the others have vowed to resist the EC’s move, fueling tension in recent times
New voter register: Time to dialogue with political parties —CODEO
Election Observer group CODEO, had earlier called on the Electoral Commission to engage all stakeholders on the need for a new register.
CODEO said the electoral management body needs to call an “urgent” meeting to “discuss the various concerns and help rancor and acrimony over the voters register as the country prepares for the December 2020 elections.”
Source: Jonathan Ofori, Daily Mail GH