Voter’s register: Our position unchanged – Volta NDC

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Volta region has rejected claims of double standards for honouring the invitation of the Electoral Commission to observe the 2-day pilot voter registration exercise which ended Wednesday 3 June, 2020.

At a press conference held at the EC’s office in Ho, the Volta Regional Secretary of the party, Mr. James Gunu indicated that the decision to observe and take part in the registration exercise does not in any way change the position of the NDC as far as the issue of the compilation of the new Voter’s register is concerned.

“We in the NDC received an invitation from the EC on June 1, 2020 inviting us to participate in the pilot of the Biometric Voter Registration kits and processes. Again, we received a memo from our National Elections Directorate to participate in the process.

We must put on record that the invitation was very clear, and we were very clear in our minds that the purpose was to test the BVR kits and not the compilation of a new voter’s register as some people are seeking to communicate,” he stated.

According to Mr. James Gunu, a decision by Mr. George Loh, a former MP and the Volta Regional Vice Chairman of the party to go through the registration exercise was only intended to get first-hand information on the BVR system being used by the Electoral Commission but not to suggest otherwise.

“…therefore, the decision by the NDC’s reps, including that of the Regional Vice Chairman, Mr. George Loh to subject the process to test by going through it themselves was nothing untoward. We thus call on you to disregard the shameless mischief that is being perpetrated by faceless NPP fanatics on social media over the dummy card issued Hon. George Loh,” he cleared.

He added that “We are also aware that the Electoral Commission must, by law, undertake a limited registration exercise before the December 7 elections, so we did not find testing of BVR kits strange or out of place.”

Mr. Gunu also reiterates their actions do not any way change the position of the NDC regarding the compilation of the new voter’s register.

“I must reiterate our earlier position that the NDC does not support the compilation of a new register for the upcoming general elections,” he emphasised.

Observations of the NDC

According to Mr. Gunu, the party has made a number of observations on the piloted registration exercise, which validates their insistence on the unpreparedness of the Electoral Commission to compile an entirely new register before the December polls.

Among such observations are technical hitches that marred the process in some centers across the 16 regions of the country including the Volta region.

“Apart from the technical hitches and the intermittent breakdown in the registration machines, the filling of the form 1A took an unduly long period of time, after which the applicant had to wait for a considerable length of time for his data to be entered. This also, essentially delays the process unduly.”

Still on the form 1A, Mr. Gunu said the NDC has observed that the form has no serial number.

“The form 1A has no serial number and so can be compromised at any time. Some may however argue that the absence of a serial number on a dummy card is no cause for alarm, since it is a mere test run but the question is should the EC not use the exact documents as will be replicated in a proper registration exercise?, he questioned.

On the final ID card, he said, “It is again noteworthy that just like form 1A, the final card is not serially numbered. There are three digits generated randomly without any logical sequence or pattern; this is very unlike the previous ten digits of the existing voter ID.”

These among many others, Mr. Gunu says makes the Electoral Commission unprepared to go ahead to compile a new Voter register.

He said, “Ladies and Gentlemen of the media, the test run or piloting of the EC’s new voter registration exercise with its attendant technical challenges and Covid-19 vulnerabilities, is an undisputed evidence that the Electoral Commission is both ill-prepared and time-constrained to be able to effectively compile a new voter’s register for the December 2020 general elections,” while adding that, “We thus charge the EC to conduct an extensive character and credibility audit to rid itself of all the credibility deficit that have marred their recent activities.”

Source: Abdul-Iddrisu