Full text: Jean Mensa briefs Ghanaians on final Voters Register

Mrs Jean Mensa, EC boss

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, on behalf of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, I warmly welcome all of you to today’s ‘Let the Citizen Know.’

It is refreshing to be here, and we thank the good Lord for His Faithfulness. We could never have come this far without Him and for that we are eternally grateful.

To you our distinguished citizens, we thank you for believing in us and for walking this journey with us. Your feedback has been constructive and has helped strengthen our work and processes.

To you our media partners, we thank you for your consistency. You have been our gate way to the good people of Ghana. We couldn’t have engaged with the citizenry of Ghana without you. Thank you.

The purpose of today’s “Let the Citizen Know” is to brief you on the Final Voters Register ahead of the 2020 election. We assured you that we would provide you with updates on a number of issues that were raised regarding the Registerso as to put these issues to rest once and for all.

In fulfilment of that promise we are here this morning to put to rest concerns and questions raised regarding the Register ahead of the elections next week. Exactly a week today to be precise.

This morning my presentation will focus on the following issues.

  • Total Number of persons on the final Voters Register.
  • Number of persons who registered but whose biometric and biographic details are not on the register.
  • Number of persons on the Multiples List
  • Number of persons on the Exceptions List
  • New Application for Checking Details of Registrants.
  • Upload of Registers on the Commissions Website
  • Special Voting

Total Number Of Persons On The Final Voters Register

I am pleased to inform you that the Final Voters Register has a total of seventeen million and twenty-seven thousand, six hundred and forty-one (17,027,641) registrants who are eligible to vote come December 7th, 2020.

Of the total number of registered voters, females constitute eight million, eight hundred and ten thousand, two hundred and eighty-three (8,810,283) representing 51.74% of the total Register while males amounted to eight million, two hundred and seventeen thousand, three hundred and fifty-eight (8,217,358),representing 48.26% of the total Register.

Greater Accra has the highest number of female and male registrants.

The region with the lowest number of female and male registrants is North East Region.

Below is the total number of registered Voters per Region on the Final Voters Register:

Region No of Valid  Voters  
Western 1,187,333 1 million 187 thousand and 3 hundred and 33
Central 1,567,756 1 million 567 thousand 7 hundred and 56
Greater Accra 3,528,996 3 million 528 thousand 9 hundred and 96
Volta 924,116 9 hundred and 24 thousand, 1 hundred and 16
Eastern 1,641,050 1 million 6 hundred and 41 thousand and 50 persons
Ashanti 3,019,178 3 million 19 thousand 1 hundred and 78 persons
Western North 468,683 4 hundred and 68 thousand, 6 hundred and 83
Ahafo 316,970 3 hundred and 16 thousand, 9 hundred and 70
Bono 653,378 6 hundred and 53 thousand, 3 hundred and 78
Bono East 594,610 5 hundred and 94 thousand, 6 hundred and 10
Oti 358,552 3 hundred and 58 thousand, 5 hundred and 52
Northern 1,050,016 1 million 50 thousand and 16 persons
Savannah 298,404 2 hundred and 98 thousand, 4 hundred and 4 persons
Upper West 469,753 4 hundred and 69 thousand, 7 hundred and 53
North East 289,529 2 hundred and 89 thousand, 5 hundred and 29
Upper East 659,317 6 hundred and 59 thousand, 3 hundred and 17
Totals 17,027,641 17 million, 29 thousand and 6 hundred and 41

I will now address the issue of the personswhose names have been placed on the Multiples and Exceptions list. For the information of the General Public this information has been given to the Political Parties. It was provided to them on the 7th of November 2020 together with the Voters Register.

Multiples List

The total number of multiple registrations on the Multiples list today stands at fifteen thousand, eight hundred and sixty (15,860). We have seen a decrease in the number because some of these persons proceeded to court and had their objections overturned by the court.

By its name this list refers to the number of multiple registrations done by unique individuals. It does not refer to unique individuals. As such, if a person registered five (5) times, all five registrations will be recorded on the list although the five registrations were undertaken by one person.

The number of unique individuals who conducted the multiple registration is however seven thousand, eight hundred and ninety ( 7,890).

It is instructive to note that the Multiples List is not generated by the Staff of the Commission. This list is generated by the ABIS system when it detects multiple registrations by a unique individual when the same set of fingerprints appears for persons bearing different names. The system picks this up and isolates the registrant. This is not done by staff of the commission.

I emphasize this to allay the fears or perception of the Commission deliberately removing names of registrants from the Register. When a person with a unique set of fingerprints registers multiple times, this is flagged and picked up by the system and the names and details are isolated on the Multiples list.

Exceptions List

Again, there have been perceptionsthat the EC is deliberating removing persons from the register and placing them on the Exceptions list.  This is false.

This Exceptionslist refers to unique individuals who conducted various forms of electoral malpractices includingunderage registration, registration byforeigners, and registration by persons not ordinarily resident in the area where they wish to register

To date, we have a total number of 13,997 persons on the Exceptions list. It is important to note that the list was developed as a result of the citizens at the grass root level challenging and objecting to registration of certain persons.Duringthe RegistrationExercise a number of persons had their registrations challenged.

As a result, they were not provided with their Voter ID cards. Additionally, during the Exhibition period, a number of persons had their registrations objected to for some of the reasons stated above. It is important to know that those challenged at registration had to opportunity to appeal against the challenge to their registrationby providing proof of their eligibility to be registered to the DRRC set up by the Electoral Commission to hear these cases. Some of the challenged persons had their challenges overturned and these persons were then provided with their cards and included in the Voters Register.

Again, persons whose registrations were objected to during the Exhibition processes also had the opportunity to appear before the Magistrate.i.e. the DRRO and appealed against their objections by presenting requisite documents and evidence to prove their eligibility. A good number the objections were overturned, and these persons have been reflected in the register.

It is important to note that beyond this, a number of persons whose appeals were not granted by the DRRC and DRRO sought redress at the High Court. A numberof appeals were granted, and these persons have been included in the Voters Register as we speak. Two of such cases occurred inZubzugu, in the Northern where some 443 people have been included in the register following the granting of their appeal by the High Court.Their Voter ID cards have since beenissued to them.

Again, in Effutu, Winneba some fifty-two (52) persons appealed against the objection to their inclusion in the register. The High Courtoverturnedthose objectionsand they have all been included in the Voters Register by the Commission.  As we speak their voters ID cards have been issued to them.

It is important to note that in the past the Multiples List and the Exception List were not published by the Commission. However,in the spirit of transparency the Commission has decided to publish both lists on its website. Both lists add up to a total number twenty one thousand, eight hundred and eighty seven (21,887)unique individuals.

For the information of the general public, the Exceptions and Multiples List prior to the 2016 election amounted to some eight hundred thousand 800,000 persons. They were banned from voting in the 2016 Elections. Today these persons have been given another opportunity to register and vote.

Gap in the 2020 Voters Register

By gap, I am referring to the number of persons who registered during the just ended registration exercise, but whose names are not on the Final Register. In total we have some five hundred and fifty (542) persons on this list.

The question some may ask is,how did we do this?

Following the Exhibition Exercise, the Commission undertook a thorough review and analysis of the Register and took steps to reconcile the number of persons who actually registered with the number of persons reflected in the Voters Register.  We relied on the End of Day reports generated by the Biometric Voter Registration Kits and compared the actual number of Registrants on the End of Day reports to the Provisional Voters Register. At the end of the day, it was revealed that five hundred and forty two (542)persons had registered but were not captured on the Register.

The breakdown is as follows:

S/N REGION TOTAL
1 Western 3
2 Central 10
3 Greater Accra 160
4 Volta 252
5 Eastern 9
6 Ashanti 34
7 Western North 0
8 Ahafo 8
9 Bono 7
10 Bono East 0
11 Oti 8
12 Northern 9
13 Savannah 19
14 Upper West 2
15  North East 2
16 Upper East 19
  Total 542

This analysis revealed that 542persons were not reflected in the Final Voters Register. In our determination to ensure that every eligible person who registered is given the chance to exercise his or her franchise, the names of these persons will be published on our website and at our district offices throughout the country.

We apologise for the inconveniences caused to these persons and wish to assure them that they will be provided with the opportunity to vote. They will be manually verified,and the Commission will send their details and Form1Aand 1C’s to the Polling Stations where they registered. They will not be denied their right to vote.

It is important to note that following the data freeze, the Commission received some court decisions reversing the decisions of the DRROi.e. Magistrate. In total (55) persons on the Multiples List had their objections overturned. What it means is that the Commission is enjoined to grant them an opportunityto vote. However, since the Data had been frozen at the time, we received the court decision, they could not be included in the data base. We are adding them to the missing names list to enable them vote.

Additionally, some 233 persons were placed in wrong Polling Stations. These persons have also been added to the Missing Names List at the Polling Stations where they originally registered. They will be provided the opportunity to vote and will be verified manually using the Manual Verification Forms.

In total, the list of missing names who will be given the opportunity to vote stands at 830persons across thirty eight thousand, six hundred and twenty two (38,622) Polling Stations.

The list will be posted on the Website.

Final Voters Register On The Website

The EC is enjoined by the electoral laws as outlined in C.I. 127 to publish the certified copy of the Final Voters Register in a manner determined by the Commission.

As such, the Commission has elected to make the Register available in two (2) electronic formats to allow registered Voters seamlessly check their details ahead of the Elections. The Final Voters Register is available through:

  1. The Commission’s website – https://registers.ec.gov.gh

On the Commission’s website, the Register has been published in two searchable databases. One for special voting and one for the December 7th voting. Voters registered for Special Voting on the 1st of December are advised to use the Special Register option. Every other Voter should use the Main Register option.

To access their details, registered voters are required to enter their 10-digit Voter ID card number on the website application to confirm their details ahead of the 2020 December Polls.

  • The second option available for checking a person’s details is by using the USSD code – *711*2020#

The Commission has provided a USSD code for registered voters to check their details on all networks. To access their details, registered voters need to dial *711*2020# on any phone and network, enter their Voter ID card number and the Polling Station Code where they registered. Please note that this information is available on the voter’s Voter Card.

A valid voter will get a response on their phone which will contain: Full Name of the voter, their Voter ID Number and Date of Birth, their Polling Station Code and Name.

The good news is that, both services are FREE.

The publication of the Final Voters Register in these two (2) electronic formats will enable Voters ascertain their Polling Station details  to enable them go through a seamless voting process on election day.

We entreat persons who have issues with their registrations to contact their nearest district offices across the country for immediate remedy.

Special Voting

As you may be aware, the Electoral Commission reached out to the security agencies and media houses to inform them about the Special Voting Facility, The letterrequested them to send details of their members who wished to take part in the Special Voting Exercise to the Commission, I am pleased to note that the list of Special Voting has been compiled. The list has been published on the website of the Commission. Additionally, the Commission has made it possible for persons on the Special Voting List to check their details using the Code. We encourage all who applied to take time to check their details before Tuesday, 1st December, 2020.

This year the Commission has provided the Special Voting list to representatives of institutions who applied to vote during the Special Voting. The final Special Voting list contains one hundred and nine thousand five hundred and fifty-seven persons (109,557 Persons) from the various security agencies, media house and the Electoral Commission. It is instructive to note that this is the highest number the Commission has recorded for Special Voting in its history.

It is also important to mention that the Commission received a number of names well after deadline.  While some were considered, others came a little too late after the data base had been frozen.Once the data base is frozen no changes/ transfers can be made. All lists received after the data freezes could not be processed. We entreat the Public to disregard information going around on the Social Media by some “experts” that the Commission has prevented Security Agencies from registering. This is not true. Every Officer who applied on time, and provided the correct ID card number was duly registered

Unfortunately, we rather had an issue with our media partners who have collaborated with us all this while. There were some discrepancies regarding the lists submitted by the GJA.The soft copy of the list was different from the hard copy which contained more Applicants. Unfortunately, this was not made known to the Electoral Commission’s team.

As such only the names in the soft copy were reflectedin the Special Voting list.  The Commission regrets this and wishes to assure the GJA and NMC and Journalists in general of our support to their efforts. To mitigate this, the Commission has instructed its field officials to give preferential treatment to media personnel who possess the Accreditation Cards of the Electoral Commission.

Special Voting

For the information of the General Public, the Special Voting Exercise will take place at selected locations in the two hundred and seventy-five(275) constituencies on the 1st of December 2020. In total 109,557 Persons made up of security personnel, media and staff of the EC applied to take part in this exercise. We entreat those who applied for this facility to verify their details and locations on the Commissions website. The Commission also published the locationsfor the Special Voting in the News Paperson Monday the 23rd of November 2020.

Distinguished Citizens, all is set for the Special Voting on Tuesday. To date, officers have been recruited and trained. All materials have been distributed in sufficient quantities and the BVD’s prepared and deployed. We expect a near 100% turnout and are confident that the outcome will be peaceful, credible transparent and orderly God being our helper.As the good book states a horse is prepared for battle but victory comes from God.  We will keep you updated on the outcome of the Special Voting in the course of the week.

We thank you for taking time to be here with us this morning.

As my friends in the media say, until we come your way again, it’s been me Jean Mensa reporting from the Electoral Commission Headquartersin Accra.

May God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong

LET PEACE REIGN

Thank you for your attention.

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