The printing of the final biometric voters register for the December 7 polls will begin on Wednesday, November 4.
Ahead of that, the Electoral Commission (EC) will make soft copies of the register available to all registered political parties and any other persons that the EC considers necessary.
The Deputy Chairperson of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr. Samuel Tettey, told the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday that although the calendar of activities slated the printing of the voters register for November 8, “we are set to start printing way ahead of this date.”
He said the printing and the distribution of the hard copies of the register to the regions would be done simultaneously, explaining that as “we finish the printing per region, we will distribute.”
Mr. Tettey said the EC cut down the printing of the provisional voters register from three weeks to seven days because it acquired two additional Xerox printers, adding that would help quicken the pace of printing the final register.
He gave an assurance that with the improved planning and execution of schedules, the hard copies of the final register should be available for the regions within 10 days from the start of printing, stressing that the parties would have the soft copies ahead of the printing on Wednesday.
Per Section 27 (1) of Constitutional Instrument 91 (Public Elections – registration of voters – Regulations 2016: “The commission shall certify the register after the determination of claims or objections” by the District Registration Review Committee Officers (DRRCOs).”
Section 27 (3) provides: “After the register has been certified, it shall be published in the manner determined by the commission and shall replace any existing voters register.”
Section 27 (4) also provides: “The commission shall make available a copy of the register to the political parties and any other person that the commission considers necessary not later than 21 days after the register has been certified.”
The EC conducted a 38-day voters registration exercise in clusters from June 30 to August 6, 2020.
It subsequently conducted a provisional voters registration exercise from September 18 to 25, this year.
The register paves the way for Ghanaians to cast their ballots on December 7 to elect a President and 275 Members of Parliament (MPs) to steer the affairs of the country from January 7, next year to January 6, 2024.
Mr. Tettey explained that a certified register was one that had the master list of registered voters, after all corrections, inclusions and objection issues had been addressed.
Asked about what would happen to the names the Tamale High Court ordered should be included in the final register, he said the commission would abide by the ruling.
He explained that those names were part of the exception list, and that the EC only needed to restore them to the main register.
Mr. Tettey said the EC had 14,000 names on the exception list, while 16,000 names were on the multiple registration database.
The Deputy EC Chairperson explained that the exception list was for those whose registration had been disqualified by the DRRCOs, while the multiple registration list was for those individuals who registered more than once at different polling stations.
Those on the exception and the multiple registration lists, he said, would not be able to vote on Election Day because they did not object to their names being on those lists.
To avoid the challenges associated with the 2016 special voting, Mr. Tettey said the list would be sent to institutions such as the security agencies, media organisations and election officials for them to know where they would vote on December 1, 2020.
He said the list would also be posted on the EC’s website for easy reference by those who submitted their names for the special voting.
In addition, he said, the EC had decided to print separate ballot papers for those who would vote on Special Voting Day.
In 2016, those doing special voting used ballots from the stock meant for the general election.