The Electoral Commission (EC) has described the performance of the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and the fingerprint scanners as robust, effective and efficient.
The Commission said the frequent breakdowns and malfunctioning of equipment and devices that characterized previous registration exercises since 2012 was not experienced in the phase one and batch one of this year’s registration.
Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Commissioner, in Charge of Operations speaking at the launch of the EC’s outreach programme dubbed, “Let the Citizen Know”, said the new BVR kits were faster and user friendly than the previous ones and had led to faster processing of applicants at the registration centres.
“Let the Citizen Know” is an initiative that seeks to engage the electorate on its activities and processes ahead of the 2020 General Election.
It will also be a platform where the Commission would receive feedback, respond to questions and address concerns on a timely and regular basis.
The bi-weekly engagement on Wednesdays and Fridays will provide updates on the number of persons who registered per day nationwide, details on male/female ratios, number of persons who used the guarantor system, and the number of persons who used a form of identification.
Mr Tettey said, “The efficiency of the registration officials and the quality of the BVR kits have led to some registration centres registering as many as 250 and above a day”.
He said the ongoing Registration Exercise was successful and that the Commission was optimistic of delivering on its mandate.
Mr Tettey said at the end of the first phase of registration, the Commission had registered and issued Voter Identification Cards to about two million eligible applicants.
He said a total of 59.3 per cent of eligible applicants supported their application with Ghana Card, 30.7 per used guarantors, and 0.2 per cent backed theirs with passports.
Mr Tettey said the Commission deployed additional BVR kits to the Regions and Districts as mobile registration teams.
The mobile teams are sent to registration centres, which are experiencing long queues to help ease the congestion.
On overcrowding at some centres, the Deputy Commissioner said the Commission had initiated a queue management system at registration centres to prevent congestion and the breach of anti -COVID-19 social distancing rules by anxious applicants seeking to acquire Voters Identification card.
He explained that under the queue management system, the first 150 applicants who arrived at Registration Centres would be provided with numbered chits.
Mr Tettey said the first half of that number would be served from morning to early afternoon; while the second half would be asked to leave the centres and return in the afternoon when the registration of the first batch would have been completed.
He said the security men at the Registration Centres were directed to assist in enforcing the safety protocols and especially the social distancing rule.
“The Commission believes that this system will go a long way towards reducing overcrowding and long queues and help with the enforcement of social distancing protocols at the Centres,” Mr Tettey said.
Mrs Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the EC said since assuming office in 2018, the Commission had made it clear to run an open-door policy by informing stakeholders about its operations and the need for all to support the Commission.
“We initially engaged and interacted with a variety of stakeholders including; religious bodies, the traditional authority, and the media to name a few. All of these measures are in the spirit of transparency and accountability. We are keen to ensure that citizens are provided with the truth and facts as they unfold,” she stated.