EC Runs Pilot Voting

The Electoral Commission (EC) would on Saturday, March 12, 2016 hold a mock (pilot) biometric voter registration exercise in all the 10 regions of the country.

It follows what the EC claims to be an upgrade of its biometric voter registration Kits (BVR Kits) for the impending limited voter registration and subsequent registration exercises.

A statement issued yesterday by the EC and signed by its Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley, said the exercise, which will be carried out in selected polling stations in the regions, is intended to test the upgraded kits.

The exercise is expected to start at 9am on Saturday and is supposed to end at 4pm.

Among the selected polling stations are the Effia Kwesimintsim Catholic Day Care Centre and Mpohor Police Station at Sompaduase in the Western Region, as well as the Cape Coast South Metro Assembly office and the Mfantseman Catholic Primary School in Yamoransa, all in the Central Region.

In the Volta Region, the polling station at the Ho Central GPRTU A and Waya Gbogame JHS at Adaklu have been selected while in the Greater Accra Region, the Lords Pentecostal Church at Ashaiman and the TMA Day Care Santeo at Kpone Katamanso have been selected for the exercise.

The EC has also selected the New Juaben North Community Centre at Effiduase and the M/A Primary School at Sokode Juaso in the Eastern Region, with the Old Palace polling station at Asokore Mampong and the Achiase M/A Primary School at Ejisu having been chosen in the Ashanti Region. The R/C Primary School at Kato polling station and the Local Council Hall at Wamfie are the venues in the Brong-Ahafo Region.

In the Northern Region, the EC has chosen the Yendi Secondary School A polling station and the Sang Islamic Primary School at Mion for the pilot project, while in the Upper East Region the polling stations at ZAMSTECH, Bolga and one at Saligba, Bongo, have been selected. In the Upper West Region, the polling stations are the Wa Technical School and the Junior High School, Loho Nadowli/Kaleo.

All political parties and prospective voters at the selected polling stations have therefore been entreated by the EC to participate fully to ensure a successful exercise.

However, the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has questioned the EC’s readiness for the November polls.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on Wednesday, the National Coordinator of CODEO, Albert Kofi Arhin, wondered among others things whether the Commission had fully implemented the recommendations of the Justice VCRAC Crabbe panel, which took submissions and proposals for and against the compilation of a new voter register.

According to him, the panel did not only recommend the use of the current register for the polls, but also suggested that some things be done to improve it.

The latest posture of Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, former Director of Elections at the EC, is not at variance with similar concerns raised by another civil society group – the Institute of Economic Affairs, IEA.

The IEA had first questioned the EC’s preparedness towards the elections in November.

Mr Arhin said the concerns expressed about the voter register by stakeholders must be of utmost concern to the Commission as the country prepares to go into the polls in November.

By Charles Takyi-Boadu

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