The Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday conducted a pilot voter registration exercise in all 16 regional capitals in the country.
According to the EC, the exercise was to identify problems associated with the new system, including its effect under various weather conditions and find ways of mitigating them ahead of the voter register compilation later this month.
In a post on its Facebook page, the EC explained that the pilot exercise would assist in assessing the preparedness of trained staff for the main electoral roll registration.
Additionally, it was also to test safety measures including hand washing, social distancing, use of sanitisers and nose or face mask wearing that would be instituted at all registration centres to protect applicants from coronavirus (COVID-19).
All issues identified, the EC noted, would be forwarded to the Commission at the national level for the necessary rectifications to be made before the commencement of the exercise.
Here in Accra, the Greater Accra Regional EC office undertook the exercise in the presence of representatives of the various political parties as well as some voters.
The exercise recorded no system failure although an unexpected rainfall ensured that participants had to spend more time than anticipated to go through the registration process.
The Regional Director, Kwame Amoah, said they would strictly enforce the protocols to ensure the safety of all participants of the exercise.
“As you can see, we have markings on the floor to ensure they all comply with the social distancing directive. Anybody who comes in will be required to wear a nose mask, wash their hands with soap and use hand sanitisers as well. We call on the public to cooperate with us to achieve the desired results,” he added.
From Tamale, Yakubu Abdul-Majeed reports that the exercise started about 7am at the Northern Regional EC’s office.
The Deputy Northern Regional Director of EC, Emmanuel Dansu in an interview with the Ghanaian Times indicated that adequate preparations have been made for a smooth pilot exercise.
He mentioned that special arrangement has also been put in place to observe the necessary COVID-19 protocols.
Mr Dansu also stated that all the political parties in the region were informed about the pilot exercise.
He mentioned that the pilot would offer the Commission the chance to identify challenges with the equipment and address them.
The pilot exercise was going smooth at the time the Ghanaian Times visited the EC office in the metropolis.
Checks from the Savannah and North East regions indicated that similar exercises were ongoing.
All Ghanaian citizens of 18 years and above and of sound mind are expected to register at where they reside when the exercise begins with either a Ghanaian passport or Ghana Card as proof of identification or have two guarantors to enable them register.
In addition to compliance of the safety measures that would be put in place at the various centres, the EC appealed for cooperation to make the upcoming exercise successful.
BY CLAUDE NYARKO ADAMS