The Electoral Commission (EC) is expected to begin the third phase of the voters registration on Sunday, July 12.
Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey, made this known in a presentation at a press briefing in Accra on Friday, July 10, 2020.
According to him, “a new phase will start on Sunday 12th July and end on Friday 17th July 2020.
“Information on this phase is available on our website (www.ec.gov.gh), Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Daily Graphic and the Daily Guide.”
The second week of the registration exercise started on Monday 6th July and will end on Saturday 11th July, 2020.
Mr Tettey said the second week of the ongoing registration exercise has largely been very successful.
He indicated that “the performance of the registration officials keeps on improving daily especially the speed and accuracy of the Data Entry Clerks.”
“The satisfactory performance of the registration teams is evident in the daily registration figures recorded at the various centres”, he added.
Most registration teams are able to register an average of 150 applicants per day per centre with some recording as high as 359 in a day with the support of mobile teams, according to him.
“The performance of the registration officials is such that it takes an average of 5 minutes to process an applicant,” he said.
He gave the list of Centres “which are equally doing impressive recordings” as follows:
1. R/C Church, Asouyeboah -215 (Kwadaso District)
2. D/A JSS Apagya -224 (Afighya Kwabre South District)
3. D/JHS Bourno -241( Afighya Kwabre South District)
4. Methodist Church, Benso – 247 (Gomoa Central District)
5. Don Bosco Cath. Girls Prim. Sch – 261( Gomoa Central District)
6. Kumbumgu-Aboabo – 260 (Tamale Metro)
7. Bukpomo – 247 (Kumbungu District)
8. Anglican Primary School Akramaman – 281 (Ga West).
The Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits have largely worked perfectly as expected, he said, adding that “With the exception of a few batteries which sometimes are not able to travel for all the expected 12 hours all other components of the device (i.e. cameras, printers, scanners and laptops) have performed to expectation.”
“This challenge has been identified to be due to inadequate time for charging the battery,” he said.
“The Commission has instructed all officials to fully charge the batteries of the BVR kits before the next day.”
According to him, Generally the adherences to the COVID-19 protocols have improved and are being observed at all the registration centres.
“It is relieving to observe that applicants at most of the registration centres are steadily and progressively wearing face masks and also keeping to the social distance protocols.”
However, he noted that the same cannot be said of some number of centres in certain places such as Accra Metropolis, Tema and Ashiaman, where observing social distancing still remains a challenge.
He said the EC has taken some measures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
“The Commission has intensified its public education on the need to adhere to the safety protocols especially the social distance rule. District Electoral Officers have been educating the general public on various platforms on the need to observe the social distance rule. The Commission is using the Public Address Systems mounted on all the EC vehicles to educate the public on the need to observe social distancing. The Commission has made provision for additional chairs for applicants to sit on at the registration centres.
At centres where we have overcrowding, the Commission has increased the number of chairs to 200 for example, registration centres in Odododiodio,” he noted.
“Collaboration with the security agencies has led to intensified efforts of the security agencies to enforce adherence to the COVID-19 safety protocols.
The nurses from the Ministry of Health in charge of the Thermometer Guns are also helping to enforce the safety protocols at the centres.
One main measure which the Commission has instituted is the Queue Management System. Where they are adhered to, the social distance challenge has minimized,” he added.
“As a reminder, this measure is to deal with overcrowding at registration centres. Under the queue Management System, the first 150 applicants who arrived at the Registration centres will be provided with numbered chits.”
“The first half of this numbers will be served from morning to early afternoon. The second half will be asked to leave the centres and return in the afternoon when the registration process for the first batch has been completed. The second batch will come in the afternoon to be served.
The Commission has intensified its public education on the Movement Plans for the registration teams in the subsequent phases of the registration exercise. This will avoid applicants from going to the wrong registration centres to register. The Commission currently is using local radio stations, street announcements using the EC vans, EC’s website and other social media platforms as the principal tools for the publicity exercise. In addition the Commission has deployed additional kits to the Districts as mobile teams to help address the challenge of long queues at some registration centres. This has improved upon the social distance situation and has eased the overcrowding at some of the centres.”
Registration Of Aged
Per the administrative directives to all registration teams, the aged and the vulnerables are to be given priority when they get to the regular registration centres to register, he said.
However, there are reports that some few officials are flouting this directive.
“Although it is not widespread, the Electoral Commission wishes to apologise to the aged and the vulnerables who have gone to register at the regular registration centres and have experienced delays”, he said.
“The Commission wishes to assure them that it is putting in place all the necessary measures to improve upon the situation at the regular registration centres in the subsequent phases. Meanwhile, the aged and the vulnerable can still take advantage of the EC office registration exercise in their respective Districts which is solely designed for them,” according to him.
“Notably, this is the first time the Commission has made such arrangements exclusively for the aged and the vulnerable to ensure their comfort.”
By Melvin Tarlue