THE BLOATED VOTER REGISTER: EC MUST INVESTIGATE ALLEGATION

FOR the second time in two months, the main opposition party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has made allegations in the media that the national voter register is bloated, and wants the Electoral Commission (EC) to clean it, before the 2016 elections.

The flagbearer of the NPP, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, was the first to make the allegation when he addressed party faithful in the United Kingdom last December, and called on the EC to replace the register to ensure a smooth conduct of the impending elections.

Similarly, the Ashanti Regional branch of the party last Sunday, called for immediate auditing of the voter register, alleging “massive fraud and irregularities” in it.

At a news conference, Bernard Antwi Boasiako, the Regional Chairman, said the party had detected fraud and irregularities in the register, and insisted that an audit would help set the parameters for the 2016 general elections.

But in a sharp response, the EC denied the allegation, insisting the voter register was not bloated, let alone over- bloated.

It maintains that statistically, the register is credible and reliable for the conduct of any national and local elections.

The response from the EC notwithstanding, it is necessary the Commission takes the allegation seriously, if the credibility of the register would not to be questioned before the 2016 elections.

It cannot also be over-emphasised that for the results of the elections not to be challenged, there is the need for the polls to be conducted with a credible voter register.

The current voter register has been created from the data base of the Electoral Commission, and contains the photographs and bio-data of people who have registered to vote in elections.

It should therefore, not be difficult for the register to be cleaned to reflect the exact number of people to vote in the country.

The Times, however, believes that making allegations in the media may not be the best approach to resolving the problem.

If the NPP has uncovered some dubious registrations, it must make it available to the EC for investigations, and the names expunged from it.

From now until 2016, the Times urges the EC to do everything possible to protect the sanctity of the electoral roll, to ensure that the results of the elections are credible and accepted by all parties.

A credible voter register and stakeholder confidence in it, is the surest way for the conduct of a credible and incontrovertible elections in 2016.

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