The second phase of the nationwide voter registration exercise commences today at different centres in all 16 regions of the country.
The exercise, which is being organised in clusters, would see registration officials relocate to different centres within the same constituencies, for a period of six days.
With little technical challenges recorded so far in the first week of the exercise, strict adherence to the social distancing and nose mask wearing protocols by applicants in the wake of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is one of the major hurdles to contend with.
Some applicants who spoke to the Ghanaian Times in centres visited in Accra during the first week also bemoaned the cluster system arguing that it has delayed the process of card acquisition.
At the Apostolic Church Central Assembly at Odorkor and the Osu Cinema Hall ‘1’ at Klottey Korley respectively, people continued to flout social distancing rules.
Some centres at Ringway Estate Basic School, Church of Pentecost Central Assembly at Odorkor, among others, however, strictly observed all the safety measures in support of the fight against the disease.
According to registration officials of the Electoral Commission (EC) at some centres, the process was smooth, with an average of 100 cards being issued daily with a few centres issuing about 160.
Some other applicants at various centres had issues with wrong name spelling and wrong data.
Samuel Kwakye, a registration officer at Osu Cinema Hall 1 said that, between Tuesday and Friday, 10 of such errors have been recorded and were rectified with new cards printed for such people.
He explained that the typographical errors, including change in gender of applicants and misspelling of names came from data entry.
Lawrence Vomafa-Akpalu reports from the La-Nkwantanang-Madina Municipality that, some residents who have been queuing daily to register at the Kponkpo Assemblies of God registration centre near Teiman have questioned the rationale behind the pruning of the registration centres by the EC.
They noted that the pruning system has resulted in overcrowding at the limited centres.
They have therefore called on the EC to take a major decision on the limited registration centres before the second phase begins.
In addition, the prospective applicants expressed worry about the threats of COVID-19 and asked the EC to intensify the necessary pre-cautionary measures to compel people to adhere to the social distance directive.
A petty trader, Leticia Abbey, said the slow pace of the registration process was a cause of worry for applicants as it was affecting their business.
Iddirsu Musa, a welder said he had to leave his job for threedays just to queue and register while he had a lot of job to do and appealed to the EC to create more registration centres to avoid overcrowding in order to protect the people from the virus.
“The EC must take a second look at the reduction in the number of registration centres to control the spread of the virus among the people who queue at a particular time to register,” he noted.
BY FRANCIS NTOW