Page last updated at Thursday, February 16, 2012 8:08 AM //
Chairman of Ghana’s Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has announced that the upcoming biometric registration of all eligible voters in the country is aimed at replacing the existing voters register.
He has therefore urged all eligible Ghanaians to make themselves available for the exercise, once it gets underway in March 2012.
“The exercise will be a complete replacement of the existing voters register and thereby render any previous voter registration invalid for purposes of voting in the 2012 elections,” he said in Accra Wednesday, February 15, 2012.
Ghana’s EC boss was addressing a dialogue organised by the Editors Forum, Ghana, with sponsorship from the Ghana Commercial Bank and the Electoral Commission of Ghana, on the theme “Election 2012: The EC’s preparations so far”.
Disclosing that in view of the timely releases of funds, the delivery of equipment and other materials to that end has so far been on schedule, Dr. Afari-Gyan stated “So the Commission is now in a position to announce that it plans to undertake a biometric voter registration of all eligible persons, including prisoners, in all regions and districts at the same time from March 24 to May 5, 2012.”
He also divulged that training of certain categories of officials is ongoing, while training of the officials who will do the actual registration will begin soon, with the explanation that training of the registration officials has been deliberately delayed so they can effectively put their training into practice, once the exercise begins.
Dr. Afari-Gyan further disclosed that before the actual registration begins however, there will be a pilot programme in all 10 regions of Ghana, using one urban district and one rural district in each region.
Re-echoing the phasing out of the existing voters register compiled from 2004 to 2010, a release from the Electoral Commission signed by its Deputy Chairman, Operations, K. Sarfo Kantanka, stated “As a result all previous registrations and existing voter I.D. cards will no longer be valid. All Ghanaian citizens who registered from 2004 to 2010 should therefore be registered anew to qualify to vote in public elections and referenda.”
The release also enjoins all Ghanaians who have turned 18 years and therefore qualify to register as voters, to avail themselves for the registration exercise.
By Edmund Smith-Asante