Voter Registration Begins With Low Turnout

Mr Turkson going thruogh the registration Processes.     .Photo.Ebo GormanThe Limited Voter Registration Exer-cise   by the Electoral Commission (EC) to capture new entrants onto the voters register, began nationwide yesterday, amidst low turnout.

A visit by The Ghanaian Times to some of the registration centres across the country revealed that the exercise started smoothly but with low turnout.

When The Ghanaian Times got to   the Ado Betor Registration Centre at La Wireless in the La District at 9 a.m,   the exercise had already begun.

Benjamin Armah, the Special Duty Officer of the EC in-charge of the Centre told The Ghanaian Times that the exercise was expected to start exactly at 7 a.m., but due to the breakdown of the scanner printer to print pictures, the applicants were told to go and return later.

“We have reported the issue to the Technical Team of the La District Office of the EC and we hope they will supply us with a new scanner printer,’’ he said.

The Ghanaian Times observed that the centre was empty with only the officers and the representatives of the two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) present.

Mr Armah stated that turnout of the exercise was low, saying “only five persons have turned up at the centre to register by 9 a.m. He, however, expressed the hope that the turnout would improve in the coming days, because it was just the beginning of the exercise.

Asked whether the centre had been supplied with enough registration materials, Mr Armah answered in the affirmative.

“The Ado Betor Centre has been supplied with enough materials to carry us through the whole period,’’ he said, adding that the “materials were even supplied last week ahead of the exercise.’’

At the Korle-Bu Police Station Electoral Area, there was low turnout at the centre, and as at 11:30 a.m. only 15 people had registered with the first person registering at about 8 a.m.

Only representatives of the NPP and the NDC were present to monitor the exercise.

The Registration Officer at the centre, Mr Fred Osekre, noted that the low turnout was because yesterday was the first day of the exercise.

He said the centre had no challenges and the equipments were in good condition.

As at 12 p.m. at the St. Michael Anglican Church Centre, Korle-Gonno, 21 people had been registered.

The Registration Officer, Mr. Anderson Darkwah said at the beginning of the exercise, there were challenges with their printer but it was later replaced by the Commission.

Registration of voters in 275 electoral centres in the Western Region, went on smoothly, reports Clement Adzei Boye.

When The Ghanaian Times accompanied the Western Regional Director of the EC Mr. Stephen Opoku-Mensah to the Bethany Methodist Church Centre at Essikado at 10 a.m., 10 people were in the queue whiles the officials reported that, five others had been registered.

At the Nana Nkestia Primary School, also at Essikado, four people had been registered with party   representatives also present.

At the Asafo Centre at Sekondi, four people had been registered   as at   10.20 a.m., while at the old Cocoa Training School and the Methodist   Senior High School, eight   and   14 people had been registered respectively.

The Ghanaian Times noted   that, at all the centres visited, only party agents of the National Democratic Congress (ND) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), were   present. They were seen interacting heartily among themselves.

Meanwhile, the registration officials reported that data entry and photo taking were smooth compared to the main exercise.

They suggested that, the EC should intensify public education and information as some people might be confused due to   the rescheduling, after   the   Supreme Court ruling.

Ama Tekyiwaa Ampadu-Nyarko reports from Koforidua that the majorty of the polling centres in the New Juaben Municipality were virtually empty as few people approached the centres to register during a visit by The Ghanaian Times.

At the Kwaku Otchere Polling Centre in the New Juaben South Constituency, Mr. Emmanuel Addai, the registration officer told the Times that as at 12:45, only two persons had been registered.

At the Legion Hall Polling Centre in the New Juaben North Constituency, Mr.. Emmanuel Marfo, the registration officer said only four persons had come to register as at 1p.m.

He explained that a number of students had not gone on vacation yet, but he was hopeful that more would register before the ten day exercise ends.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Eastern Regional Director of Electoral Commission, Mr. Dogbe Selorm, he indicated that the exercise was limited to few persons and therefore, he was not expecting any massive turnout at the various polling centers.

He cautioned the general public not to attempt registering for the second time if they already have the voter identity card.

By Kingsley Asare

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