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EC outlines COVID-19 measures for compilation of new voters register

The Electoral Commission (EC) has outlined measures to curb spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) as it laces its boots for the compilation of a new voters register.

Though it is yet to give an exact date for the exercise, the EC has given indication of compiling a new register once it gets the green light from health experts.

The move has however received disapproval from the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and other minor political parties.

A statement released by the EC yesterday assured that all officials of the commission will be in appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) should the exercise take place.

Among others, electorate will be required to maintain a minimum distance of one metre while in a queue to register as the wearing of a face mask is compulsory before one enters the registration centre.

According to the EC, one’s temperature will be checked before allowed at a registration centre as it makes provision for hand washing facilities before “you join the queue.”

“Scanners will be wiped with alcohol wipes before capturing finger prints and you will be provided with hand sanitiser before you leave the registration centre,” it said.

The EC had scheduled April 18 for compilation of the new voters register ahead of the December general elections but had to put it on hold due to the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

The move to discard the old voter register, the EC contends, is in favour of the new Biometric Voter Management System (BVMS) which would among other things have a facial recognition ability.

It would also help address verification challenges that often occur during elections.

The NDC has however vehemently resisted attempts by the EC to register citizens for a new register amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The context is, don’t just think about your staff, think about the health, safety and lives of citizens who will be queuing for the purpose of getting registered,” Minority Leader in Parliament, Mr Haruna Iddrisu had argued in a recent news conference.

They also questioned the priorities of the government and the EC amid the novel coronavirus pandemic because of the allocation of PPE to the commission.

BY ABIGAIL ANNOH

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