Seventy-two-year-old Gabriel Panke Nyaba was among dozens of people who trooped to the Sunyani Municipal Office of the Electoral Commission on Monday for their names to be captured in the on-going limited voter registration exercise.
He seemed to be the odd one among the registrants since almost all the prospective voters who had lined up for the exercise were young people of the voting age of 18 who were poised to ensure that their names were captured in the voters register to enable them to exercise their franchise in the 2020 general election.
Mr Nyaba told the Daily Graphic that he was shocked when he found out before the 2016 general election that “my name has been deleted from the voters register because I was dead.”
According to him, to ensure that his name is re-written in the register, he had produced the necessary documents to prove that he was not dead to enable him to take part in the on-going exercise.
The exercise, which took off at exactly 7 a.m., was rather beset with network challenges and thus left dozens of people stranded as of 12.45 p.m. when the Daily Graphic visited the centre.
Even though four teams had been put in place to ensure smooth registration and issuance of the voter identity cards, the online system had been suspended.
As of the time of the visit, the officials were struggling to set up an offline system to enable them to start issuing cards to the about 60 people who had already gone through the manual registration.
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The Supervisor of the exercise in the municipality, Mr Badu Amaniampong, expressed the hope that the online problem would be resolved to ensure a smooth exercise.
Earlier, the acting Bono Regional Director of the EC, Mr Frank Nunoo, stated that all the 12 municipalities and districts had begun the exercise.
According to him, there were additional mobile teams in all the municipalities and districts who would go to difficult areas to register those who had reached the legal voting age and those whose names were not in the voters register for one genuine reason or the other.
From Bolgatanga, Vincent Amenuveve reports that the exercise in the Upper East Region started yesterday on a low key but without any challenges.
Mobile registration team
In order to make the registration more convenient for potential voters, a Mobile Registration Team was put in place to move from place to place to register people while others who could make it to the Bolgatanga Municipal Office of the EC were asked to register at the office.
At the Bolgatanga Municipal Office of the EC, some residents of the region who had turned 18 since the last registration, as well as those who for one reason or another had never registered, were spotted by the Daily Graphic under a tent either going through the processes or waiting to go through it.
There were two representatives from the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at post.
The EC officials indicated that because of its slow start, it would be too early to suggest that people were either ignorant of the exercise or were not interested in the exercise.
As of the time of filing this report, the mobile team had moved to Zuarungu in the Bolgatanga East District of the Upper East Region.