Some applicants in Ketu South have appealed to the Municipal office of the Electoral Commission (EC) to consider conducting the ongoing limited voter registration exercise on rotational basis. The EC had begun registering persons, who have turned 18 years and above since the last registration in 2020 onto the electoral roll, from September 12 to October 02, 2023, limiting it to its district offices across the country. The applicants, who spoke to the Ghana News Agency during a visit to the registration centre at Tokor, said the EC’s decision was unfortunate and appealed to the Municipal office to consider rotating the exercise, to benefit young people and persons with disabilities. They argued that limiting the registration exercise to Tokor meant a lot of young ones in the vast and second most populous constituency in the country, would abstain from the process. This was due to the high cost of transportation to and from their communities, riding on motorcycles (because of bad roads) and queuing for hours to await their turn to be captured. Ms Christiana, the mother of a four-month-old baby from Blekusu, a community in the district, said she fell sick waiting in the queue to register, saying if not for the free bus provided by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), she would not have participated in the process. ‘I came in the morning and was able to get the card around 1400 hours, which was very frustrating. I’m a lactating mother and I had to spend almost the entire day with my baby in the queue. At one point, I fell sick,’ she said. She appealed to the EC boss that for the remaining days, he should zone Ketu South into about five and rotate the registration centre to other places before finally mopping up at Tokor, to make it accessible to all applicants. Mr Kofi Sakyi Boampong, the Municipal EC Officer for Ketu South, reacting to the concern, said it was impossible to rotate the centre as the machines being used for the registration were connected to a network in their office, ‘besides, conducting the exercise at the office was not specific to Ketu South, it is nationwide.’ He, however, allayed fears of the public about disenfranchising people assuring them that he and his officials would do everything possible to register all eligible applicants who would show up. Mr Elliot Edem Agbenorwu, the former Municipal Chief Executive for Ketu South, who passed by the centre accompanied by some New Patriotic Party members to observe the exercise, advised political parties to resist the temptation to influence ineligible applicants like persons below 18 years to register because that would among other things affect their retirement age in future. Mr Bright Kwaku Kumordzie, the Constituency Chairman, Ketu South NDC, encouraged all eligible persons to participate in the exercise to be able to vote during the Elections 2024. He explained that the Party’s provision of a free bus to convey eligible persons to the registration centre should be considered as ‘helping deserving citizens to register,’ and not an attempt to influence ineligible registrants. The centre in the first week of the exercise registered a total of 1,153 eligible voters, made up of 616 males and 537 females, with, 40 others being challenged, but the process was incident-free.
Source: Ghana News Agency