Ghana: EC Poised to Compile New Voter's Register for 2020

17 December 2019

The Electoral Commission (EC) has justified its decision to compile a new voter's register saying the current register is overstretched and does not have the data of some eligible voters.

Addressing a press conference in Accra yesterday to announce the Commission's readiness for today's local government elections, Samuel Tetteh, a Deputy Chairperson of the EC in-Charge of Operations, said the new register was also necessary to replace the outmoded biometric machines which were currently in use.

He said a new biometric register would be developed with enhanced features to protect its credibility.

"The current register is credible but it has been stretched to a point where you don't want to take that same risk. We want to have something that is more credible.

If you remember, during the exhibition some of you heard that some people were not captured because of the equipment we are using. This equipment we started using it in 2012," he added.

He explained that the EC was working to ensure that all major and partisan elections were credible and devoid of complaints.

However, some groups including the Chamber for Local Governance (ChaLoG) has expressed shock at the EC's reasons for a new voter's register and called on the EC to postpone the elections over its plans.

The group argued in a statement issued yesterday in Accra that if the current register was not fit for use in the general elections then it cannot also be considered in the district assembly elections either which takes place today.

It said both the district assembly elections and the presidential and parliamentary elections were of equal importance and as such much be organised with one accepted register.

"ChaLoG finds the reasons and arguments being put up by the EC to compile a new biometric voters register ahead of the 2020 general elections to be very highly untenable in view of the fact that, it is this same 'defective and non-credible' biometric voters register that has been used to conduct all the aforementioned successful elections in this country," the state added.

It called on the EC, to as a matter of urgency, "postpone today's district assembly elections, if it feels so strongly that the current biometric voters register is very highly defective and therefore not credible to be used to conduct the 2020 general elections which is nearly a year away."

Earlier this year, the EC announced it would compile a new voters' register after an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting.

The system would rely on telecommunication companies as the backbone to transmit next year's presidential and parliamentary election results.

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