EC to go back to schools
The Electoral Commission (EC) is considering going back to some Senior High schools to continue the registration of students who could not register during the two-day exercise it undertook last Friday and Saturday.
According to the Commission, the move has become prudent following reports that in most schools less than 50% of eligible voters were registered.
The EC announced its intent to go back to these schools in a statement issued yesterday to update stakeholders on the ongoing exercise.
The Commission says it does not delight in disenfranchising individuals who would want to register, including the students.
“Registration for applicants in the Senior High schools where there are no registration centers took place on Friday and Saturday. The Commission is still looking at the option of going back to these schools in the course of the week to register those who did not have the chance to register,” the release stated.
It explained that “reports coming to us indicate that in most of the schools the team could not even register 50% of them (students).”
It continued: “In our endeavor to ensure that every Ghanaian who qualifies is given the chance to register, the Commission will also have a mop-up registration for all who will not be captured during the main phases of the registration exercise. Note that we will not disenfranchise anyone who wants to register.”
The Commission’s intention comes at a time when the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), has sued it for what the party termed as illegal registration at ungazetted places, including the campuses of SHSs, in accordance with Constitutional Instrument 91.
That notwithstanding, the Commission, in its statement yesterday, noted that it had registered 4,445,346 at the end of the Phase 2 of the ongoing exercise.
The figure constitutes about 30% of the projected 15 million eligible voters the Commission is likely to register by the time the exercise is over.
Breaking the 4.4 million down to regions, the Commission said the Greater Accra Region leads with 20.9% of the registered voters. Ashanti Region follows with 18.4%, and the Easter Region is third with 9.5%, with the Central and North East regions having 9.4% and 1.7% respectively.
Meanwhile, the Greater Accra Region leads in the number of challenged cases with 1,391, and the Volta Region has 1061, but the Ashanti Region has 929.
The statement further touched on Phase 3 of the exercise, which commenced on Sunday, and indicated the Commission had doubled the centers for the registration. The current phase of registration is taking place in 6,728 centers and 267 district offices of the Commission.
As a result, the Commission anticipates an increase in the numbers registered on a daily basis this week.
The release opined that the Commission had noted that some agents of political parties at the registration centers collect the voter ID cards of applicants and take some details from the card.
“The Commission wishes to clearly state that this is not part of our electoral laws, and the agents of political parties should desist from doing that. The general public is also advised not to give the ID cards issued to them by the Commission to the agents of the political parties at the registration centers,” the statement urged.