The nationwide exhibition of the voters’ register begins today, the Electoral Commission (EC) has announced.
The eight-day exercise, which is meant to clean the register ahead of the upcoming referendum on the participation of political parties in district level elections, will be an opportunity for the about 17 million registered voters to authenticate their details in the register.
It will also be a means to rid the register of unqualified people who got registered between 2012 and this year.
The EC has, thus, called on all stakeholders and members of the public to take a keen interest in the exhibition of the voters’ register.
At a press conference in Accra yesterday, the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr. Bossman Eric Asare, said all the 30,702 polling centers across the country would be opened for registered voters to check their details.
“Basically, the exhibition exercise is to allow for prospective voters to verify if their details, such as names, sex, and age, were properly captured during the registration exercise and make requests for amendments or insertions when necessary,” he explained.
He added that the exhibition provided an opportunity for registered voters to help clean the register by raising objections for the names of unqualified persons to be removed.
Dr. Asare explained that the exhibition would create an opportunity for the inclusion of omitted names, removal of names of deceased voters from the register, correction of wrong registration centers, change of names and corrections to wrongly spelled names.
He said the exhibition would also be a means for amendments to be made to clerical errors on the details of prospective voters.
He said for the sake of convenience and timeliness, it was important for all prospective voters to take their voter identification (ID) cards to the center for easy verification.
However, he said, persons who failed to take their ID cards to the exhibition centers would be assisted to verify their details.
“It is also allowed for one to verify the voter details of a relative, provided they bring along the voter ID of the said relation. It must be noted that no request for correction will be allowed in the absence of the owner of the ID card,” he stressed.
Dr. Asare stressed that the request for major changes or corrections, such as a complete change of name or addition of new names, the inclusion of omitted names, change of polling station codes and change of photographs, would require those making the request to complete the process at the district offices of the EC.
“Such changes are regarded as potential avenues for impersonation or identity theft, hence the need for the biometric authentication of the applicant’s identity at the commission’s district office before the change is effected,” he said.
He added that district magistrates or lawyers of at least three years’ standing had been contracted as District Registration Review officers, with the responsibility of making a determination on each of the complaints or objections that would be raised during the exhibition exercise.
Dr. Asare reiterated the fact that the referendum was not meant for the election of metropolitan, municipal and district chief executives (MMDCEs) but rather to pave the way for political parties to participate in district-level elections.
“The upcoming referendum is to amend Article 55(3) of the 1992 Constitution to introduce a multi-party system of the election at the local level because this article is an entrenched provision,” he said.
Responding to a question on the duration of the exhibition exercise, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, said the time was enough to carry out the exhibition of the register.
“We have at most 800 people in a polling center and so even if 100 people go to check their names in a day, they would have all gone through the process in eight days,” Dr. Asare said.