|The Electoral Commission has rejected calls for an extension of the exercise to re-register the more than 56,000 voters whose names were deleted from the country’s electoral register. Although the 10-day period set aside for the affected persons to re-register ends Thursday, July 28, checks at the EC by 3News shows only about 14,000 of them have so far re-registered.
A total of 56,772 voters were deleted from the register for using National Health Insurance card as proof of identity. The deletion followed a Supreme Court order to the Commission after the Court declared the use of the card as void. Some political parties have consequently raised concern over what they say is the limited time offered the affected voters to register. Representatives of the New Patriotic Party, People’s National Convention and Progressive People’s Party say the EC has not done enough in terms of publicity of the re-registration exercise hence the low turnout.
Director of Elections of NPP Martin Agyei Mensah Korsah said though it is important that the EC extends the period, the EC must also equip its district offices with a lot more equipment to for the exercise. But the Director of Communications at the Electoral Commission, Eric Kofi Dzapkasu, has disagreed with claims by the political parties that the low turnout is a result of low publicity by the Commission.
He said the Commission put in place adequate measures to sensitize people to make them enthusiastic to engage in both the re-registration exercise as well as the exhibition exercise. “We have our jingles being played on over two hundred radio stations across the country throughout the day as well as intensified publicity at both the district and community levels,” he told 3FM Mr Dzakpasu also denied assertions that the exhibition exercise has overshadowed the re- registration exercise which were done simultaneously, arguing it has rather thrown more light on it.
Meanwhile, Convener of pressure group, Let My Vote Count Alliance, David Asante, says the EC is only deceiving Ghanaians because the Commission has not deleted the 56,772 NHIS registrants from the register as ordered.