Election 2020: EC sets April for New Voters’ Register

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The Electoral Commission of Ghana has come to an agreement internally and has earmarked the month of April 2020 to start compiling the new voters’ register for which it submitted a budget to Ghana’s Parliament.

The electioneering body in Ghana indicated that the process of compiling names and biodata for creating the new register would last one full month – starting in April and ending in the last week of May 2020.

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The Director of Electoral Services, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, gave the timeline for the exercise while speaking in a radio interview with Accra-based Starr FM on Monday, January 20, 2020.

According to the Electoral Commission, the move to compile a new register was going to augur well for the country since it was going to save the state millions of Ghana cedis.

Speaking at a media briefing, IT consultant to the EC, Dr. Yaw Ofori-Adjei said the Commission would incur GHS107.25 million to furnish the existing data centre but would only need GHS39.51 million for what they are suggesting – creating an all-new register.

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Dr. Ofori-Adjei went on further to reval that keeping the old biometric system would cost $74.36 million as compared to the $56 million needed to acquire a new system which includes Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and the Biometric Verification Devices (BVD) for the new exercise.

Per the data, the total cost of using the old Biometric Voter Registration – BVR system for the 2020 election is $38, 692,500.00 for the refurbishment of some BVR kits used in 2016 and the acquisition of new ones.

The total number of kits used in the 2016 registration was 5,500 while the number of kits that were refurbished was 1,500 with a $3500 unit cost of refurbishment making the total cost of refurbishment at $5,250,000.

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The Commission has also maintained that it has plans of procuring a new biometric voter management system (BVMS) and compile the new voters’ register since the current system is outdated.

Some 13 political parties in Ghana led by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have shown strong support their weight behind the EC for the new BVMS and compilation of the new voters’ register.

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However, the Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voters Register made up of some six political parties led by the biggest opposition party in Ghana, National Democratic Congress (NDC) have kicked against the compilation of a new voters’ register.

In this light, a number of massive demonstrations dubbed ‘Yenpini Demo’ would be staged across the length and breadth of the country in protest against the new register.

The first of the demonstrations was held today, January 21, 2020, in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi.

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The demonstration against the new voters’ led by the NDC, saw bigwigs of the party together with members from other political parties and concerned citizens to demonstrate against the said voters’ register which according to them was of no use.

The protesters were spotted clad in red attires and headbands holding placards and singing along to different songs.

Source: Edwin Lamptey | electionsinghana.com

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