Regional News of 2014-04-13

EC urges extensive district level voter education

The Electoral Commission (EC) has appealed to political parties and civil society organisations to work collectively and educate the electorate to patronise the forthcoming district level elections.

Alhaji Amadu Sulley, Deputy Director of the EC in charge of Operations made the appeal in Tamale during a Regional consultative forum on the public elections regulations (C. I. 75). It aimed at soliciting views and suggestions for the improvement of future elections.

The EC organised the one-day forum facilitated by the KAB Governance Consult, which also aimed at throwing more light on the challenges of the EC during the 2012 elections, especially relating to C.I. 75 to see how best those challenges could be addressed before the next elections.

The forum offered participants including representatives of security agencies, civil society organisations, political parties, religious bodies, the media and some women's groups the opportunity to ask pressing questions on the C.I.75 and to give suggestions on how to organise future elections.

Alhaji Sulley said the District level election since its inception in 1988 had consistently recorded low voter turnouts, which needed to be addressed by embarking on vigorous education on the importance of the local level elections to enhance local governance.

He said this year’s district assembly election might also suffer the same fate in view of the fact that the elections would be tied with a referendum if care was not taken and urged all stakeholders to help the EC embark on public education to receive a massive voter turnout.

Alhaji Sulley also warned against multiple registrations when the limited registration starts in June this year saying, “There will be the tendency for some people to attempt to indulge in multiple registrations and I am warning all that the Biometric device will give you up if you try it”.

Mr Bruce Ayisi, Northern Regional Director of the EC suggested that the “verified prompt” on the Biometric Verification Device (BDV) should also be activated at the facial recognition stage and not limited to the finger print stage so as to improve on the verification.

He explained that when that was done it would mean that there was a “duality of verification” to ensure that equal opportunity was given to voters who due to occupational or accidental hazards had lost their fingers, to have their voting rights restored.

Source: GNA
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