The Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voters’ Register says the Electoral Commission’s announced date for a new voter registration exercise is not feasible.
The group at a press conference on Tuesday, March 3, 2020 said the EC is only bent on creating confusion with the April 18 date.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the opposition National Democracy Congress (NDC) and a member of the group at the press conference said the proposed date is problematic because of the processes the EC has to go through prior the exercise.
He said contrary to claims by the EC, the current biometric machines are not obsolete and can still be used to stage a credible election.
“The current BDR’s are not obsolete…The EC is now in the process of procurement. We are in March now, so between today and 18th April, the EC has to bring samples or prototypes of their equipment to go and do pilot registration, train everybody [its officers] before they come and start the re-registration process,” Asiedu Nketia said.
He added that, “unless you want to create confusion, you will not be in the position to begin the registration on the 18th. We don’t believe that the registration can be done.”
EC to compile new register
The Electoral Commission in January 2020, set announced April 18 as the date for the compilation of the new voters’ register.
This was announced by the Deputy Chairperson of the EC in-charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey.
The exercise, it said, is expected to be completed by May 30, 2020 after which an exhibition exercise will be conducted from August 15-28, 2020.
The EC said it plans to deploy 8,000 registration devices for the exercise which will be rolled out at 32,000 polling centres nationwide.
The EC also intends to adopt a system where four polling stations will be merged to form a cluster to ease the process.
Providing more details on the exercise, the EC says it will use a period of 43 days for registration by spending 10 days at a cluster plus a five-day mop-up.
New voters’ register brouhaha
The EC’s decision to compile a new voters’ register as well as upgrade its election management system has been met with stiff opposition.
The processes are to be undertaken with some GHS390 million approved by Parliament weeks ago for that and other purposes.
But a number of stakeholders including some opposition parties and Civil Society Organizations have kicked against the EC’s intention, urging it to at least consider it after the 2020 polls.
Some other political parties including the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and pro-government social groups have thrown their weights behind the EC, although the NDC and the others have vowed to resist the EC’s move, fueling tension in recent times.