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Extending voter registration exercise not feasible, says EC

Voter registration for Election 2020

The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is “not feasible” to extend the deadline for the ongoing voter registration exercise.

The EC said despite the technical challenges encountered in the first two days of the exercise, the process has since been smooth across the country without any hindrance.

The EC commenced the registration of new voters on 7 May 2024, and the exercise is scheduled to close on 27 May 2024.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday (22 May), Samuel Tettey, deputy EC chair in charge of Operations, said the 21-day period allotted for the exercise was enough.

He said, unlike the first week of the registration exercise, where large queues were recorded in some registration centres, the numbers had reduced in many registration centres with a week more to the scheduled date for closure of the process.

Tettey said the Commission’s mobile teams had also been deployed to hard-to-reach areas to enable applicants who may not be able to access the district registration centres to do so.

“This is good enough to cover all difficult areas that the Commission earmarked,” he said.

“We don’t actually think that at this time it is even feasible for anyone to call for an extension,” Tettey added.

Data released by the EC indicate that as of the close of registration on the 13th day of the exercise on Sunday, 19 May 2024, a total of 522,025 new voters had been registered, out of which 446,416 (85.52) are first-time voters between the ages of 18-21.

Out of the total figure, 246,455, representing 47.21% of the registered voters are males and 275,570, representing 52.79% are females.

The EC had targeted registering a total of 623,000 voters by the end of the exercise.

Mr Tettey said a total of 813 persons living with disabilities had been registered across the country.

“The total number of challenged cases across the country stands at 7,821,” he added.

Regional breakdown

The Greater Accra region has registered 74,420 voters (14.3%); North East, 14,147 (2.7%); Upper East, 20,125 (3.9%); Northern, 47, 948 (9.2%); Bono, 20,886 (4.0%); Bono East, 18,861 (3.6%); Volta, 26, 486 (5.1%); Upper West, 15, 652 (3.0%); Eastern, 48,563 (9.3%); Central, 56, 141 (10.8%), and Ahafo, 10, 861 (2.1%).

The remaining registrations are Ashanti, 90,480 (17.3%), Western North; 16, 225 (3.1%); Oti; 14, 844 (2.8%); Savannah 12, 767 (2.4%); and Western Region, 33, 609 (6.4%).

The EC urged the public to disregard claims by a group called the Election Watch Ghana that alleged that the EC was using “stolen” Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits “to register voters secretly.”

Tettey described the allegations as baseless and explained that five laptops were stolen from the Commission and not BVR kits.

“The five missing laptops on their own cannot be used to register voters,” he said.

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