EC re-registers 38.9% of deleted NHIS registrants
The Electoral Commission has revealed, it has successfully re-registered 22,107 persons out of the 56,772 names deleted from the electoral roll.
Addressing a news conference Friday, its Director of Communications, Eric Dzakpasu said the Commission did not expect all deleted persons to turn up for re-registration as directed by the courts.
“It has been four years since they registered. Chances are that a good number of them may no longer have been with us and others may have their own reasons why they would not want to re-register”, he explained.
The re-registration became necessary after the Supreme Court ruled on July 5 that persons who used the NHIS card to register to vote used a wrong document to prove citizenship.
The court, therefore, directed that they are given another opportunity to correct their registration in accordance with their right to vote as guaranteed by the 1992 constitution.
Dzakpasu said despite the low turn-out for the re-registration, the Commission cannot be blamed because it embarked on a considerable campaign to publicise the exercise.
He explained that the Commission run 200 radio commercials translated into all the major dialects in the country.
Mr Dzakpasu also revealed that the Commission’s 10-day window of opportunity was “more than enough” for any affected registrant to re-register. In effect, the EC will not be extending the re-registration exercise.
At least 55 town criers, also known as gong-gong beaters, from the Akatsi-North District of the Volta Region were mobilised to help disseminate information on the Voter Register Exhibition and Registration exercises.
The Communications Director described the registration exercise which started on July 18 and ended Thursday 27 July as the most publicised activity of the Commission this year.
“If people actually wanted to get registered, they could have done so within the 10 days. There is no evidence that when an extension of the date is granted, the remaining people will come out and register”, he said.
He explained that the Electoral Commission is required by law to exhibit the provisional voters register of the persons re-registered.
The data captured during the Re-registration Exercise will have to be processed and added to the rolls for the polls before it can be opened again for exhibition expected to come off from 5- 8 August.
“This means we will require some time to be able to do that [processing] in order to be in a position to exhibit the provisional register for the re-registrants” he said.
The EC would need at least two weeks to process the new data of 22,107 persons eligible to vote in the December general elections.
He also explained that the EC also has to set up District Registeration Review Committee to adjudicate on objections raised against the registration of persons who were believed to be ineligible to re-register.
“The provisional voters register can only be produced for exhibition of the re-registrants after all the above processes have been duly satisfied” he noted.
After the provisional register is displayed, the EC would have to finalise a certified voters register to be given to all political parties.
In view of the workload before the Commission, the Communications Director said there cannot be an extension of the exercises. He added that an extension will also have a budgetary constraint on the Commission.
The registration exercise was run along with a voter exhibition exercise to allow eligible voters to verify their details in the register. The EC revealed that so far, 4,173,959 citizens have been verified.
The exhibition is expected to end August 7.