EC’s new voter register compilation begins today

EC’s new voter register compilation begins today

The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) will today, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, begin a nationwide compilation of the proposed new voters’ register roll ahead of the December presidential and parliamentary elections.

The exercise is expected to be held at 6,788 clusters made up of five registration centres each across the country. This will capture more than 33,367 registration centres located within the country.

Again, the exercise will be conducted in five phases, each phase spanning six days with additional days for mop-up.

Per statistics provided by the electoral body shows that over 44,000 staff and over 5,000 technicians have been recruited, trained, and deployed while 8,000 biometric registration kits tried, tested and deployed.

Following this arrangement, on average, an applicant is likely to be registered and issued a Voter ID Card within 10 minutes.

Also, from the Supreme Court’s ruling last Thursday, in the case of the NDC, Mark Takyi-Banson and the Electoral Commission, a potential applicant must present either a Ghanaian Passport or a National Identity Card issued by the National Identification Authority (often known as Ghana Card) or two guarantors who must themselves have been registered under the new system.

This is in line with the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2020 as amended (CI 126). Additionally, a guarantor can vouch for up to ten prospective applicants.

EC Chair, Jean Mensah at a press briefing on Monday, June 29, 2020, described the guarantor as “the lesser of two evils” concerning public concerns raised against the system.

About COVID-19 safety protocols

As part of the EC’s effort to observe all COVID-19 protocols, a total of 7,000 health assistants have been released by the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to help ensure that all the required COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to accordingly at all clusters.

The Commission has maintained that it will observe a strict, mandatory hand washing and nose mask guidelines, deploy thermometer guns for the first-hand screening of applicants, provide hand sanitizers for use as well as maintaining a strict one-meter physical distance between prospective applicants.

With regards to registration centres, the Commission says it will conduct the exercise in open fields using their furniture and fittings. These are to be wiped occasionally with alcohol wipes.

What about the Aged and Vulnerable

Again, the EC has said special arrangements have been made for “persons with disabilities, pregnant women and nursing, the aged, that is persons 60 years and above as well as the sick, will be given priority at all registration centres”.

Such persons can walk into the District Offices of the Electoral Commission to be registered from Thursday, July 2, 2020.