COVID-19: Start voter registration exercise in places not under lockdown – Sam Okudzeto to EC

A senior legal practitioner and former President of the Ghana Bar Association, Sam Okudzeto has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to start the voters’ registration exercise in places outside the partial lockdown.

The Electoral Commission suspended its planned compilation of a new voters’ register over the ban on public gatherings imposed on Ghanaians as part of efforts to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus disease that has bedevilled the country.

The exercise was initially scheduled for April 18, 2020, but no new date has been announced following the suspension.

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The Greater Accra Metropolitan Area including Tema and Kasoa as well as the Greater Kumasi Metropolitan Area are currently under lockdown in a bid to check the spread of the disease.

The EC has said it wants to ensure that the voters’ register that will be used for the 2020 election is more credible and efficient than the existing one hence the need for a new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS).

Sam Okudzeto, who is also a member of the Council of State, in an interview on Eyewitness News said the EC can compile the voters’ register in batches.

“Our cases of the Coronavirus is not as dramatic as it is in many countries which means that we only have few pockets in the two big municipalities and few of the smaller ones. So since the lockdown is not the whole of Ghana, the EC should start the registration in areas where there is on lockdown,” he said.

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EC and the new voters’ registration

The Electoral Commission is supposed to organize the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections on December 7.

The Commission is seeking to replace its biometric machines to better address verification challenges that could occur during the elections.

A key new feature the EC cited is the introduction of a facial recognition option in addition to fingerprint verification.

It also plans to make the Ghana Card and passport the only acceptable identification for the upcoming voter registration, but the announcement was received with mixed reactions from Ghanaians.

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Opposition to new register

The move for the new register has been met with opposition from key political stakeholders, including the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The opposition party called on Ghanaians to reject the EC’s plans because it felt the commission was yet to present a compelling argument for the compilation of a new register.

Over the course of deliberations, its officials even walked out of a meeting with the EC.

CNR


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Ellis Ferdinand
Ellis Ferdinand is a Journalist, Blogger and Founder of Ellis Multimedia, a parent company of EducationGhana.org, an Online Education News Blog, PoliticsGhana.com and GhanaNaija.net. Ellis Ferdinand is a Graduate of Accra College of Education and the University of Cape Coast, where he obtained a Diploma In Basic Education and a Bachelor of Education in Accounting. He is currently Reading his Master of Philosophy in Curriculum and Pedagogic Studies at the University of Education, Winneba in Ghana. Ellis Ferdinand won Blogger of the Year at the 2018 National Students’ Awards and was also adjudged 14th Best Ghanain Blogger in 2018 among the Top 50 Ghanaian Bloggers of 2018. He introduced the Concept of Education Blogging in Ghana in 2014 with his famous blog EducationGhana.net. now EducationGhana.org His Blog won Best Media Promoting Education in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, an Award organized by Neogenics Education Consult. In 2019, He adjudged the Most Promising West African Blogger of the Year in Nigeria. He won Writer of the Year at the 2021 EDUCOM AWARDS

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