Explaining the rationale behind the extension of the exercise to the Daily Graphic, a Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Dr Eric Bossman Asare, said some locations within the country did not receive their exhibition materials on time when the exercise started on Monday, September 10, 2019.
He said the difficulty that had culminated in the delay in the delivery of the materials to those affected areas stemmed from the recent creation of new regions and districts.
New regions and issues
Dr Asare said with the creation of the new regions and districts, there was the need to do a re-coding of the various polling stations, as there had been changes by virtue of the creation of the new regions and districts from the existing ones.
In view of that, he said the materials that were supposed to be sent to the new areas ended up in the old regions, thereby causing a temporary delay in their delivery to the scheduled locations.
“Thankfully,” he said, “the anomaly was discovered in time and has been addressed.”Subsequently, he said the commission decided to extend the exhibition period by three more days in the hope that the challenges that those areas experienced would be addressed.
Last Saturday, the EC issued a statement signed by the acting Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Sylvia Annoh, which announced the extension of the timeline for the exhibition exercise but gave no reason for the extension.
The statement said the commission was making an appeal to all stakeholders to cooperate with its operatives in the field to make the exercise successful.
It said all voters who registered from 2012 to 2019 were expected to check their names and particulars at their designated centres throughout the country.
“Registered voters are expected to provide information to help expunge the names of the dead as well as unqualified persons from the voters register,” the statement added.
Daily Graphic’s report
Prior to that the Daily Graphic had reported last Saturday that electoral officers at most polling stations were bracing themselves up for a busy weekend as they were hopeful that the participation in the nationwide voters register exhibition exercise would pick up as many people would take advantage of not having to be at work to verify their information as captured on the register.
Turnout had been low at polling stations across the country for the exhibition exercise by the EC, which began on Monday, September 10, 2019 with most people claiming to be unaware of such an exercise.
The exercise was meant to clean the register by allowing for corrections of particularly the spelling of names of people registered as well remove those who have passed away, ahead of the December referendum to decide on voting for people in the district assembly elections along partisan lines.
All week, the Daily Graphic team had visited many polling centres and the story of low turnout were told by the Electoral Officers who wanted to remain anonymous.
Compared to the crowd and interest shown when the limited registration of voters exercise took place recently, generally, the EC officials have had very little to do during this ongoing exercise.
The observation of the Daily Graphic was that every now and then, one person or two people would come over to verify their information.
At no time were more than 10 people spotted waiting for their turn to go through the process.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) also raised red flags about the exercise.
According to the party, there were flaws in the exercise that were frustrating prospective and registered voters across the country.