Thousands of polling stations open for limited voter registration


Thousands of polling stations open for limited voter registration

The Electoral Commission is set to open thousands of polling stations across the country Thursday morning for a limited voter registration exercise.

This exercise is exclusively opened to people who have turned 18 and those who have not registered before.

The EC hopes to register about 1.2 million people over the next 10 days at the selected polling stations.

Meanwhile, some civil society and pressure groups have criticised the EC for low publicity ahead of the exercise,suggesting that better publicity would encourage turnout.

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) for instance has called on the EC to intensify publicity on the exercise, particularly on the modalities.

CODEO also says it has deployed 250 observers nationwide to observe the conduct of the limited voter registration exercise.

CODEO concluded its training for all observers on Tuesday, April 26, 2016, and has received accreditation for the exercise for the Electoral Commission. CODEO observers, deployed in all the 216 districts across the country, will observe both the first and second phases of the exercise which commences [today], said a statement signed by National Coordinator, Albert Arhin.

Convenor of pressure group Let My Vote Count Alliance, David Asante Boateng, thinks all 26,000 polling stations across the country should have been selected for the regristration. The EC reduced the number of polling station to 3,500 for the registration exercise over budgetary contraints.

The Commission had budgeted for GH 1.1 billion and an additional GH 100 million for administrative purposes, however, parliament last year slashed the EC budget by more than GH 400 million.

At a media event recently, the Electoral Commissioner, Charlotte Osei, cautioned the public against double registration, stating that the system was capable of detecting double registration. She urged those who have lost their Voter Identity (ID) cards to make formal complaints at the nearest EC office for them to be issued with new ones.

She also explained that those who were applying for replacement of their voter ID cards would have to pay a GH 5.00 for the cost of the materials.

The registration exercise ends on May 8, 2016.

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