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‘Voter Registration Exercise Marred by Errors, fraud and Violence’ – CARE GHANA Calls for Improvement

The limited voter registration exercise, which began six days ago, has been plagued by numerous challenges, including errors, fraud, and violence, according to a report by CARE GHANA, a civil society organization advocating for free and fair elections.

The limited voter registration exercise, which began six days ago, has been plagued by numerous challenges, including errors, fraud, and violence, according to a report by CARE GHANA, a civil society organisation advocating for free and fair elections.

 

In a press release on May 12, 2024, the report, which compiled data from 24 registration centres and 11 radio and television broadcasts nationwide, highlights significant issues that threaten the fairness and integrity of the registration process.

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Some of the challenges identified include recurrent power disruptions, escalation of violence, unauthorised movement of registrants, instances of underage registration, obstruction of qualified voters’ access to registration centres, technical impediments, administrative errors, and unwarranted restrictions.

 

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CARE GHANA is urging the Electoral Commission (EC) to promptly address these issues and restore public confidence in the registration process. The organisation is also advocating for a three-day extension of the voter registration period to compensate for time lost due to these challenges, ensuring that all eligible citizens have sufficient opportunity to register without undue hindrance.


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“The EC must conduct a comprehensive inquiry into all reported incidents and institute requisite reforms to prevent further irregularities,” said David Kumi Addo, Executive Director of CARE GHANA.

 

The organisation is concerned that the restrictions imposed by the EC on political parties recording serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines have fueled conflict and suspicion, detracting from the overarching objective of fostering a transparent and accountable electoral process.

 

“Additionally, the unnecessary dispute between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regarding the recording of serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines has heightened tensions and is capable of eroding public trust in the electoral process,” the statement reads. 

 

CARE GHANA is calling on the EC to take immediate action to address these challenges and ensure a peaceful and credible voter registration exercise.

 

PRESS STATEMENT

Date: April 12th, 2024

 

“CARE” GHANA URGES EC TO IMPROVE ITS PERFORMANCE AFTER 6 DAYS OF VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE PLAGUED WITH ERRORS, FRAUD AND VIOLENCE

 

Reports compiled by Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (CARE GHANA) following six-day, twenty-one-day voter registration exercise have identified substantial challenges persisting within the limited voter registration process, thereby raising concerns about its fairness and integrity. 

 

Data from twenty-four registration centres, supplemented by information from eleven radio and television broadcasts spanning the nation, underscores significant issues undermining a peaceful process. 

 

These include recurrent power disruptions, escalation of violence, unauthorised movement of registrants, instances of underage registration, obstruction of qualified voters’ access to registration centres, technical impediments, administrative errors, and unwarranted restrictions.

 

Reports have emerged detailing errors in the registration procedure, notably the registration of minors, alongside technical hindrances impeding the efficient operation of registration centres. 

 

These technical malfunctions, compounded by administrative oversights, have left voters disillusioned and apprehensive about potential disenfranchisement. Isolated incidents of violence also occurred at selected registration centres, instilling fear and intimidation among citizens exercising their democratic rights. 

 

Such violent acts not only contravene democratic principles but also jeopardise the safety and well-being of individuals participating in the registration process.

 

Moreover, reports concerning the unauthorised relocation of applicants residing outside a specific constituency raise suspicion of voter fraud and manipulation. 

 

This blatant disregard for electoral regulations further erodes the credibility of the registration process and questions its fairness.

 

The initial six days of the limited registration exercise were marred by sporadic power outages, prompting the Electoral Commission (EC) to deploy generators to ensure uninterrupted electricity supply. 

 

These issues necessitate prompt resolution to facilitate a seamless and effective registration process for all citizens.

 

Additionally, the unnecessary dispute between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regarding the recording of serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines has heightened tensions and is capable of eroding public trust in the electoral process. 

 

The restrictions imposed by the EC on political parties recording serial numbers have fueled conflict and suspicion, detracting from the overarching objective of fostering a transparent and accountable electoral process.

 

In light of these challenges, we urge the Electoral Commission to promptly address these issues and restore public confidence in the registration process. 

 

The EC must conduct a comprehensive inquiry into all reported incidents and institute requisite reforms to prevent further irregularities. 

 

“CARE” GHANA advocates for a three-day extension of the voter registration period to compensate for time lost due to these challenges, ensuring that all eligible citizens have sufficient opportunity to register without undue hindrance.

 

Thank You

 

Signed:

David Kumi Addo

Executive Director (“CARE” GHANA)

Tel: 0559026124/0273009907

Email: [email protected]

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