Policy think tank Danquah Institute (DI) has asked the Electoral Commission not to go ahead with its planned limited registration of fresh voters ahead of the November polls until it has implemented a validation exercise recommended by the Panel of five eminent members.
Executive Director of DI Nana Attobrah Quaicoe told journalists at a press conference in Accra on Monday February 1 that the validation process will ensure that close to 600,000 names of dead people are removed from the 2012 register of voters.
“Ladies and gentlemen of the media, now, how come this most sensible and cost-effective proposal from the Panel of experts is being totally ignored by the EC? We say it is being totally ignored because the EC has already given a date for the limited registration, which is from March 21 to April 4, and that exercise has nothing to do with validation, as currently planned.
“In our view, the period for limited registration is perfect for validation as well,” Mr Quaicoe said, adding: “The Danquah Institute, by this news conference, is asking the EC to postpone the date for the limited registration for another month or so, consider the proposal from the Panel and work towards incorporating validation with the limited registration exercise.”
“This would only mean that those who turn up for validation would have to join one queue and those who show up for new registration, as first time voters, would also have their own queue since their exercise would require the filling of forms, and having their fingerprints and photographs taken and a new card issued.
“By this, the exhibition exercise, which will take place a couple of months after, will be done for the complete register of those who were validated and those who registered anew.
“Indeed, the EC can go as far as even presenting fresh laminated cards for those who will go through validation during the validation/limited registration exercise. We estimate that this whole exercise of validation, even if it involves the issuance of a new laminated voter ID card, should not cost the state more than an additional $15 million. But, we also know that it would, once and for all, answer all the main issues that those calling for a new credible register have raised. The benefit is that we will go into this year’s elections with our nation at peace with itself,” Mr Quaicoe added.