The limited voters’ registration exercise took off smoothly today, Monday, in most designated centres across the country.
The commencement of the exercise comes after the Electoral Commission was given the green light by the Supreme Court to go ahead with the exercise after an injunction suit filed against the process was dismissed.
Potential voters and others who have attained the age of 18 are expected to use this opportunity to be captured on the country’s voters’ register ahead of the referendum for the election of Metropolitan, Municipal and Districts (MMDCEs) in December 2019.
[contextly_sidebar id=”wSMahn6JQMt0ljvvS9b1aGMvjwGB5G2R”]In Accra, the exercise began at the head office of the Commission at Ridge at exactly 7:00 am where many eligible applicants trooped in to register as the centre hosts two districts – Osu Klottey and Ayawaso.
Some applicants who have been sharing their experiences with Citi News expressed their satisfaction with the conduct of the exercise.
“So far, it has been good for me. We reported around 9am. I was quite okay, they asked for my details which I provided,” one registrant said.
Another indicated that, “since I came here, it has been calm. Those registering us are conducting it in an orderly fashion. I got hear around 8:30am and everything has been going on successfully. Besides, it is not a rigorous process.”
The District elections officer for Ayawaso, Abdul Rashid Natogomah said a number people had been registered and issued with their voter’s ID cards.
“The process has been smooth so far. We started registration at about 7am. So far, we have registered about 40 people and still counting. Generally, it has been smooth and people are waiting for their turn to be registered.”
Meanwhile, in the Ashanti region, there are reports of massive turn out on day one of the exercise.
Applicants from constituencies within the Kumasi metropolis have queued at their respective District offices to go through the process.
There was heavy police presence at the entrance of the Electoral Commission offices in the Ashanti Region with other team patrolling the other centres.
“The process has been very smooth. I have not had any confrontations with anyone. So far, it has been okay. The queue has been moving moderately. Everything is going well. The registration officers have been up and doing with the process,” a registrant told Citi News.
Ashanti Regional Director of the EC, Benjamin Bannor Bio told Citi News that the registration officers are working to address some challenges that have come up at other centres.
“We have two programmes running which is the online and offline registration. We use the online system but when the network is down, we resort to the offline procedure. So at any point in time, the registration is ongoing with or without network. So because the network challenge is persisting, we have decided to use the offline method.”
Hitches in Northern Ghana
In parts of the Northern Region, however, there have been reports of network challenges at some registration centres.
As at 11 am on Monday, no card had been issued at the Centre in the Sagnarigu District.
Hundreds of people who thronged the place to get their cards were left stranded.
“They are saying the network is not stable. Since I came, they are still dealing with network challenges. As a result, nobody has been able to register as at the time I arrived,” one frustrated individual said.
“I need to acquire this card that is why I want to register, but they are complaining of network issues. We have other duties to complete at home and yet, we are here with no progress,” another person complained.
The registration exercise at the Tamale Metro EC office came to a halt due to lack of consensus between the two main political parties – NDC and NPP to allow for a manual registration following network challenges at the district centre.
They say it’s they settle on the online registration or have no registration at all.
As at midday, only ten out of the over 100 applicants who thronged the Tamale Metro EC office to register, had successfully registered, leaving several others unattended to.
The opposition National Democratic Congress had protested the decision by the EC to hold the exercise in district offices of the commission as well as some designated centres.
Dozens complain about delays in Wa Central
Dozens of persons who turned up for the EC’s limited voter registration exercise in the Wa municipality of the Upper West region expressed anger and dissatisfaction about the slow pace of the exercise.
Some of the people who spoke to Citi News complained that they have been waiting at the registration centre for several hours without being attended to by officials of the EC.