The first phase of the registration exercise being carried out by the Electoral Commission (EC) to register eligible Ghanaians for the 2020 general elections has ended in the Northern Region.
The exercise, though marked by some few challenges at the beginning, has been largely successful.
The commission, as of Saturday, July 4, 2019, had registered 116,502 eligible people.
Speaking to The Finder in Tamale, Northern Regional Deputy Director of the commission, Emmanuel Abeam Danso said the EC surmounted the challenges it faced at the beginning of the exercise, which accounted for the success chalked so far.
“The first day, some of the kits started developing some technical hitches because people were just not familiar [with them]. We were able to rectify some of these challenges and we ended the day registering 19,792 applicants.
“The second day, because we were now getting used to the kits and the environment and people understood the processes, the figure rose to 22,679. The third day, we were able to register 27,041 and the fourth day 28,325, but the fifth day the figure came down to 18,665,” he explained.
Mr Danso said the reduction in the figure on the fifth day may be as result of the fact that the majority of eligible voters at those centres have been captured.
He said the commission exceeded its target of registering 100 people a day, explaining that some centres registered as many as 190 and 200 people per day.
Mr Danso attributed this to the robustness and effectiveness of the Biometric Voter Registration Kits.
The Finder’s checks at some registration centres in the Tamale South, Tamale North, Tamale Central and Sagnarigu constituencies showed a blatant disregard for social distancing protocols.
A lot of people were without nose masks, and some centres did not have hand-washing facilities.
Responding to the concerns, Mr Danso said the EC took steps to rectify the anomaly and advised potential registrants to obey the COVID-19 safety protocols.
“The problem that we observed for the first two days was how they observed the COVID-19 protocols, so we had to advise the people to understand that the disease is still around. So, nose masks, sanitizers [and] water for washing their hands have been provided and we have also gone to the extent of providing chairs demarcating the 1m distance so that they can sit to ensure that people don’t get infected,” he explained.