The Electoral Commission (EC) has disclosed that 2,215,816 applicants have registered under the first phase of the ongoing voters’ registration exercise, which began in June 30.
Out of the number, 1,314,468, representing 59.3 per cent, used the Ghana Card as proof of identification, while 37,859, representing a 0.2per cent used the Ghana Passport, with 674, 617, representing 13.7 per cent, relying on guarantors to prove their eligibility.
Speaking at the EC’s maiden edition of the weekly media encounter, named “Let the Citizens Know: Transparency and Accountability in Motion,” a Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, in charge of Electoral Services, Mr Samuel Tettey, attributed the successes chalked so far to the efficiency of the registration officials as well as the reliability of the Biometric Verification Registration (BVR) machines being used.
He disclosed that even though data entry clerks were each given a target of 100 registrations daily, most are exceeding this target, with some registering as high as 280 people a day in the exercise that is targeting some 15 million applicants by the end of the 38-day period.
“They are very fast, very skillful, user-friendly and this has led to a very smooth registration process. Again, we also have to look at the performance of the equipment that the Commission is using…We have also seen for ourselves the robust and fast nature of the BVRs that the Commission acquired; in this case, the speed of the BVRs has translated into the number of applicants registered in a day,” he said.
Giving detailed breakdown of the exercise, Mr Tettey disclosed that the first day of the registration process saw a total of 308,925 applicants registering, with 403,340 persons registering on day two; 436,905 persons on day three; 395,557 persons on day four; 349,602 on day five; and 331,487 on day six.
He stated that since the second phase began, 361,038 persons have been registered so far.
Mr Tettey further said that, having observed the challenge of overcrowding, the Commission has instituted the ‘Queue Management System’ to deal with the issue at some registration centres, especially in the Greater Accra metropolitan area.
“Within the perimeter of the centre, there is no problem; but rather the issue occurs beyond the centre. So, we have instructed the security men at the centres to help in that direction… Under the Queue Management System, the first 150 applicants who arrived at the registration centres will be provided with numbered chits. The first half of this number will be served from morning to early afternoon. The second half will be asked to leave the centres and return in the afternoon when the registration process for the first batch has been completed. They will then be served,” he said.
Citizens must know
The EC has also launched what it calls the ‘Citizens Must Know’, an initiative that will be used to provide constant information to the public from now till the December general election is over.
“We believe that the citizens should be informed about our processes, activities and about the actions that we take. We believe that this platform will afford us an opportunity to provide timely information on a regular basis to the citizenry,” Chairperson of the EC, Jean Mensa said.
“We believe, by doing so, we will demystify the information of the Commission and remove the clove of secrecy that, hitherto, shrouded our work. We are keen to ensure that citizens are provided with the truth and facts as they unfold,” she said.
The Commission is optimistic the move will help build confidence and trust between it and the public, hoping it will help erase the tension and suspicion that usually characterise elections in the country.
As part of the initiative, the Commission intends to engage the press every Wednesday and Friday to provide full updates on persons who have registered and the decisions the commission is taking.
Source: Daily Statesman