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09.07.2004 General News

93. 5 per cent Voters Covered

By Graphic
93. 5 per cent Voters Covered
LISTEN JUL 9, 2004

A little over 93 per cent of registered voters were issued with photo identity cards throughout the country during the photo-taking exercise embarked upon by the Electoral Commission (EC).

In all, 10,852,444 registered as against 10,152,437, who took their photographs, resulting in a shortfall of 700,845.

The Director of Public Affairs of the EC, Mr Henry Okyne, who disclosed these provisional figures in an interview with the Graphic, said the commission was putting in place measures to ensure that all those who genuinely registered but did not have their photographs taken got the opportunity during the mop-up exercise which would be announced very soon.

He said the Upper West Region had the highest coverage of 99.62 per cent. Out of the total voter population of 277,226 people, 276,178 took their photographs, followed by the Upper East Region, which had 424,951 out of 428,916 people representing 99.08 per cent issued with photo identity cards.

Ashanti Region recorded 94.05 per cent. In their case, 1,874,964 out of the 1,993,631 registered voters were issued with the photo-ID cards, while 2,086,397 out of the 2,228,314 registered voters representing 94.00 per cent were issued with cards in the Greater Accra Region.

The Northern Region recorded 93.81 per cent coverage, with 877,792 of the 935,722 voters being issued with photo-ID cards, while the Central Region, which recorded a voter population of 903,801, had 845,298 representing 93.53 per cent coverage issued with photo ID cards.

In the Eastern Region, 1,068,711 out of the 1,145,064 voters representing 93.33 per cent coverage had their ID cards, while the Brong Ahafo Region, which recorded a voter population of 991, 171, had 919,488 being issued with photo-ID cards, representing, 92.77 per cent.

In the Western Region, 986,612 out of the 1,068,250 voters representing 92.28 per cent had their ID cards while in the Volta Region, 792,046 out of the 880,347 voters representing 89.97 per cent were issued with the cards.

According to Mr Okyne, the figures were satisfactory and showed how people actively participated in the exercise.

He said it was unfortunate that some sections of the public were making wild allegations as if the exercise had been a failure.

Mr Okyne, who did not state specific reasons for the shortfall, explained that the EC was still investigating other possible grounds that accounted for the deficit. He assured all those who registered but could not take their pictures that they would be catered for during the mop-up exercise.

It will be recalled that during and after the photo-taking exercise, some political parties, particularly the National Democratic Congress (NDC), complained bitterly about the exercise stating that due to certain lapses on the part of the EC, most of the people could not have their photographs taken.

While some called for an extension of time, others called it a total failure.