The third phase of the on-going Electoral Commission’s (EC) New Voter’s Registration exercise at the Ablekuma North Constituency has experienced some technical problems, thus, reducing the intake of eligible voters for each day.
Mr Ernest Dagbui, Registration Officer (RO) for the Bethel Pentecostal Church, Polling Centre One told the Ghana News Agency that due to the technical hitches, they only recorded a little above 300 applicants since the third phase started on Sunday, July 12, 2020.
“The rate at which the machine rejects finger prints is high. Sometimes, an eligible applicant would have to try over eight times before the finger print would be successfully captured.
“So take it that, if this same person who had to try over eight times got it right once and for all, it would have allowed eight more people to have been captured. Each time a person has to try more than once, it directly affects the rate at which we would capture applicants unto the system,” he said.
Mr Dagbui said those who could not get themselves registered were given numbers and attended to the next day, while newcomers were placed on a scheduled time to be attended to on the same day.
He noted that the exercise would be carried out in all centres, as such, citizens should remain calm and not troop to centres that were not their polling stations.
Mr Felix Oppong and Mr Emmanuel Nii Odonkor, party agents for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) respectively, admitted that the exercise was calm and fruitful, but called for more education and awareness to avoid misunderstandings at the centres.
Mr Kingsford Eshun, Registration Officer for the Rock Hospital Polling Centre said the only challenge they had faced occurred on the first day.
He attributed the challenge to a delay on the part of the EC personnel that were supposed to set up the machines for the commencement of the exercise and this affected the time at which they began registration.
“We were able to register only 62 people on the first day. But on subsequent days, registered 132, 179, and 187 people respectively,” he added.
He said other challenges included; the difficulty in capturing finger prints of applicant probably because citizens had too much sanitizer content rubbed in their palm. For such people, he said they were asked to re-wash their hands and that mostly resolved the issue.
Mr Eshun called on all eligible applicants to go out and vote, “we assure everyone that we won’t allow anyone skip the queue. All those who are found to have maneuvered their way into the process would be taken out.”
Ms Beatrice Addo and Mr Emmanuel Nimako, both party agents of NDC and NPP respectively added that the process took not more than six minutes to complete and so, citizens should move out to register.
“Also, we have made sure that any individual whose nationality was questionable, was disallowed. An issue happened yesterday when one woman whose accent showed she wasn’t Ghanaian wanted to register.
“She could not also present any document to prove she’s a Ghanaian. As such, we objected to her being registered,” Ms Addo added.
GNA observed that all COVID-19 safety protocols involving washing of hands, use of nose masks, hand sanitizers, social distancing were all enforced to the latter and there was police presence to ensure law and order.
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