Protecting the voter register

In an effort to clean up the voters register in readiness for the December referendum, the Electoral Commission yesterday, ended the exhibition of the voter register in various exhibition centres across the country.

The exercise which should have ended on September 10, was extended to enable registered voters to verify and authenticate their particulars and assist in cleaning up the electoral roll.

Although the exercise has come to an end, reports reaching the Ghanaian Times indicates that there were very low turnout at the exhibition centres.

Our correspondents who visited some of the exhibition centres confirm that, many of them recorded low patronage, a situation which forced the EC in the first place, to extend the period for the exercise.

The voters register plays a very important role in universal adult suffrage and enables voters to exercise their franchise during elections.

In some jurisdictions, the voter register is a very contentious document, a source of conflict but Ghana is fortunate to have a register that is acceptable to all.

Although a section of the public have raised concerns about the eligibility of people on the electoral roll in the past, it was our hope that we all would cease the opportunity to help the EC to clean up the register once and for all.

We are not in the position to confirm that the register has been thoroughly cleaned but we are such that although not many people took interest in verifying their name, the exercise was worth it.

The voters register, as we have indicated, plays a central role in enabling electorate to vote in an election. Voting is very important because it provides people an opportunity to voice their opinion and vote for what they believe in. It also holds elected official accountable for their behavious while in office.

It is for this reason that we would have wished that voters took keener interest in verifying their names in the voters register.

Whatever it is, the exercise is over and those who fail to take advantage of the opportunity should not blame anyone but themselves if they do not find their names in the register.

It’s unfortunate the exercise turn out the way it did but we are hopeful that the turnout would sufficiently clean-up the register for it to remain a credible roll for elections in the country.

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