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EC projects 700,000 new voters

BY: Dominic Moses Awiah
Mrs. Jean Mensah - EC boss
Mrs. Jean Mensah - EC boss

The Electoral Commission (EC) has projected to register 700,000 new voters as its limited voter registration exercise began nationwide yesterday.

As part of the effort to achieve that target, the EC has designated 1,573 selected centres nationwide, in addition to its district offices where the exercise is taking place.

According to the commission, it had also made provision for adequate security at all the district and selected centres during the 21-day exercise, which ends on July 7, 2019.

This is the first time the EC is engaging the services of the Police Service at its registration centres for its limited voter registration exercise.

The Deputy Commissioner of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, who announced this at a press conference in Accra yesterday, said the EC decided to employ the services of the police to curtail any potential acts of lawlessness.

He said the commission had already deployed adequate equipment and logistics to all the districts, including the 1,573 selected centres, for the exercise.

The selected centres, he explained, were created to serve people who might have accessibility challenges to the various EC district offices.

The exercise

The registration exercise, which forms part of the EC’s agenda for the various upcoming elections, is to offer Ghanaians who have attained 18 years and those who, for some reasons, have never had the opportunity to register to do so.

It is also to position the commission properly as it prepares to conduct the 2019 district level elections and the referendum on the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) scheduled for December this year.

Registration

Mr Tettey said all district offices of the commission would serve as registration centres, adding that the EC’s Voter Management System (VMS) which had been installed would be used to register qualified applicants.

“Between three and eight VMSs at the district offices will be used for the registration exercise to allow for a smooth process and reduce any hold ups and queues,” he said.

In addition, he said, each district had been provided one biometric voter registration kit which would be used in case there were challenges with the network.

He also mentioned that a list of all the registration centres had been submitted to the political parties at the national, regional and district levels.

Recruitment

Mr Tettey said officials for the exercise had been recruited and trained to prepare them adequately to perform their respective duties.

“They are made up of registration supervisors, officers, assistant registration officers, data entry clerks and key technicians,” he added.

Additionally, he said, the names and pictures of the registration officers had been submitted to the political parties at the national, regional and district levels, as required by law.

Logistics

Mr Tettey said all materials and equipment required for the registration exercise had been procured and supplied to the regions and districts in sufficient quantities.

“All the VMS installed for the registration exercise have been tested to ensure that they are in good working condition for the  exercise,” he said.

Education

He mentioned television and radio promotions, distribution of educational flyers to churches, mosques and at marketplaces and street announcements as some of the various ways of reaching out to people to register.

Mr Tettey, therefore, called on those who had attained 18 years to seize the opportunity and register to get their names captured in the voters register.