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14.08.2012 Editorial

EDITORIAL:Towards Credible Polls

By Daily Graphic
EDITORIAL:Towards Credible Polls
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After taking the nation through a 40-day national biometric voters registration exercise from March 24 to May 5, this year, the Electoral Commission (EC) will from September 1 to 10, this year, display the biometric voters register.

The exercise is to enable prospective voters to verify the data captured about them, make corrections where necessary and ensure that their names are on the electoral roll.

Originally, the EC had, scheduled the month of August to exhibit the biometric register.

Disagreements over the accuracy of electoral rolls have led to electoral violence and challenges about democratic governance in many parts of the world.

That explains why there was so much chaos at the initial stages of the biometric voters registration exercise.

But we believe the EC has put in place the requisite strategies to address any challenge that might rear its head as the country prepares for the December polls.

Therefore, the initiative of the EC to exhibit three documents: the first for voters to check their names, photographs and other particulars and make other corrections as required and the second for those who were registered outside the stipulated registration period, as well as the third to give those who engaged in multiple registrations the chance to offer grounds for engaging in multiple registrations, is highly commendable.

The DAILY GRAPHIC believes that when the voters register is exhibited, many prospective voters will be rushing once more to the exhibition centres to ascertain if their names are indeed on the electoral roll. It is our hope that the EC will put in adequate measures to ensure that the exercise comes off peacefully and smoothly.

It is also our conviction that the EC is mindful of the constitutional injunction on it in the conduct of the December 2012 elections and will, therefore, put in place the structures to facilitate a successful election.

Already, there is the debate about the creation of new constituencies and we hope the EC has taken the necessary measures to address any outstanding issues relating to the creation of the new constituencies especially when the EC processes are time bound.

We call on the EC to also ensure that it involves the security agencies right from the beginning of the exhibition of the register to the end to avoid a recurrence of the violence that characterised the registration exercise.

Ghana's democracy has been extolled in the comity of nations and we cannot afford to dent it with any avoidable incidents.

Certainly, some prospective voters will be anxious about whether they registered at the proper polling station or not. And we believe it is incumbent on the EC officials and political party agents to facilitate the process by not engaging in any acts that will threaten the country's democratic system.

The DAILY GRAPHIC knows that the EC has done its best to compile a credible electoral roll, especially using the biometric register for the first time in our democratic journey, but more ought to be done to ensure the success of this year's general election.

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