Deputy Director of Governance think tank, Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), Dr. Franklin Oduro has stated that although reasons for the low turnout during the recent voter’s exhibition have not been established, the trend was expected.
He explained that the turnout should not be blamed on the duration of the exercise and called for a credible study into the reason for the apathy during voter’s exhibition.
Dr. Oduro, who is also Head of Research at CDD, was speaking on Monday on current affairs programme, PM Express.
“We still have not been able to put our finger on why this particular aspect of voter registration exercise is not taken seriously by Ghanaians. It seems to me that we are interested and active during the voter registration process, but the next step to be sure that our details are properly captured we don’t take serious,” he said.
There have been suggestions for the Electoral Commission (EC) to extend the exhibition following the apathy and low turn during the 21-day exercise.
The exercise, which ended on Sunday, August 7, was to afford prospective voters in the 2016 elections the opportunity to verify their names and help clean the register.
Dr. Oduro noted that lack of interest by the political parties in the exhibition could have caused the apathy towards the exercise.
“The interest and the way political parties are active during the registration process is not the same as the display during the exhibition phase,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EC has ruled out the possibility of extending the exercise.
Deputy Communication Director of the commission, Yussif Ayuba, who was also on the programme said the EC factored in the perennial low turnout in decisions for the duration of the exercise.
He explained that the exercise in the previous years has lasted for two weeks, but this year it lasted for three weeks.
Mr. Ayuba said the exercise this year has been complemented with a short-code system that allowed voters to verify their names in the register without visiting the exhibition centres.
He said this could possibly be a reason for the few numbers of voters who physically visited the centres for verification.