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Politics Tue, 4 Nov 2014

Voter apathy, cause of low exhibition turn-out

Voter apathy and poor publicity have been identified as the cause of the low voter turn-out in the just ended national voter exhibition exercise by the Electoral Commission.

A cross-section of voters the Ghana News Agency (GNA) interviewed in the Cape Coast Metropolis said they refused to patronise the exercise because they did not see any benefits engaging in it.

Whilst others said they were disappointed with how the economy was being run by the Government, some expressed indifference towards the exercise because they were not going to vote in any general election anyway. Some said they were not aware that such an exercise was on-going.

One respondent, Janet Ayitey, said: “Why must I waste my time to go and check my name whilst I don’t have money to pay my child’s school fees.”

Dominic Oboh, a national service person, said: “I don’t have the money to go to Accra where I registered to check my particulars.”

The GNA visited some exhibition centres in the metropolis on the last day in the hope that the typical Ghanaian attitude of waiting till the 11th hour before rushing to check their particulars would increase patronage, however, this was not the case as there were virtually no voter on sight.

The week-long voter exhibition exercise, which began on October 23 to 30, recorded low patronage nationwide.

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The register had been opened for voters to verify their details including their names and photographs, and make the necessary corrections should there be the need.

It was also to help the Electoral Commission clean the register by taking out the names of unqualified people, including minors and non-citizens, the deceased and those who had registered more than once.

Reports from some exhibition centres in Cape Coast indicated that there were some challenges and shortcomings such as distortions of particulars of voters, and the deletion of some particulars among other errors.

Meanwhile, Isaac Kingsley Edzii, Propaganda Secretary of the Cape Coast North Constituency of the National Democratic Congress, expressed worry over the low turn-out of voters in the exercise.

Mr Edzii, who was at the Abura Roman Catholic School exhibition centre to check his particulars, described the situation as worrisome and a matter of national concern.

He, therefore, urged the EC to engage all stakeholders involved in the exercise to find a solution to the issue.

Source: GNA
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