The National Democratic Congress in the Kwabre East constituency would like to bring to the attention of the Electoral Commission the 'foreseen' challenges that has already characterized the limited registration exercise specifically in the Kwabre East constituency and the need to revert to the tried and tested electoral area based registration.
The NDC had anticipated these challenges and had cautioned the EC. In fact, at our last DIPAC meeting the issues were discussed extensively and the NDC sought to push through the viability of doing offline registration to cater for such numbers and remote areas in the constituency. This idea having been shot down by the EC and the NPP representative at DIPAC gave us the impression that the Electoral Commission was adequately prepared for the exercise.
We had a shock of our lives as our fears were confirmed this morning at the registration centre. With 3 BVR kits and out of over 100 eligible applicants at the center, the EC has only been able to input data for 5 persons. Not a single Voter ID card had been printed out as at 8.51a.m, almost two (2) hours after the exercise begun citing network challenges. Network challenges are mostly experienced at peak hours and so if at this very early stage, the exercise is already marred by network challenges then we can only expect the WORST!
A Ghanaian, 18years or above and of sound mind has an inalienable right to be registered as a voter and so the EC cannot and must not deny a person of his rights because of its own inefficiencies and disdain for wise counsel. The tension arising out of these delays are also not in the interest of anybody. It is therefore necessary that the EC admits to its unpreparedness and immediately halt the exercise as we anticipate peak demand for the voter ID cards from day 2 onwards.
There is and will always be the issue of guarantors which is a hurdle for someone travelling all the way from Bamang, Safo or Abira to Mamponteng to register. Will such a person have to go through the inconvenience of transporting 2 guarantors to the registration center and back?
At this juncture, it is in the interest of all stakeholders that the EC reverts to what has been the tried and tested electoral area based approach to the limited registration exercise.
The above notwithstanding, we encourage all our members to take an active interest in the exercise and report any incidences to either their ward coordinators or any constituency executive member. A dedicated helpline will be announced by close of day today.