Long queues have formed at various polling centres across the country as Electoral Commission (EC) officials begin registration of eligible voters for the compilation of a new voters’ register for the conduct of the December 7, 2020 general elections
The exercise has however been fraught with breaches of the laid down coronavirus protocols as most eligible Ghanaians who queued at the polling centres Tuesday morning to be registered refused to ensure social distancing and wear face masks.
There was chaos outside the Gbegbeyise JHS at the Ablekuma West municipality in Accra as hundreds of people without face mask queued in close proximity to each other.
Our correspondent Joseph Armstrong reports that “more than half of the applicants are without a facemask and not adhering to social distancing” just outside the cordoned area.
According to him, “anything that happens outside its [EC] circle is none of their business”, nothing the protocols are enforced only when one is allowed into the cordoned area.
Students of the Gbegbeyise JHS, he reports, risk contracting the deadly coronavirus as they have had to battle with the crowd to gain entry to the school compound.
Although the EC had assured no polling centre will share space with students that is not the case at Gbegbeyise JHS.
From the Odododiodio constituency also in Accra, Grace Hammoah Asare reports that registration is yet to start at all 15 polling centres in the area.
“Voters are agitated as registration officials say they are yet to be communicated to on what is causing the delay,” she reports.
The situation is however different at the Effia and Kwesimentsim constituencies in the Western Region where the exercise commence smoothly at the various registration centers.
“There are enough PPES and health protocols to ensure there is no possible infection. Nurses from the Kwesimentsim government hospital are also at the centers to ensure that applicants comply with all health protocols,” Eric Yaw Adjei reports.
Our correspondent reports that for most of the centers, there are markings on the ground to ensure that the two- meter distance rule is strictly obeyed, indicating that “There are also caution tapes separating the applicants from the main point of registration”.
A resident of Effia, Salifu Adiza who just acquired her card told 3news.com that she is happy that she will be able to vote in the upcoming general elections.
“I spent less than 6 minutes here. I did not encounter any problem and the officers are also friendly” she said.
At most of the registration centres within the Sunyani municipality of the Bono Region, the issue of social and physical distancing is virtually nil, our correspondent Larry Paa Kwesi Moses reports.
Registration Officers who spoke to 3news.com asked that some applicants go home and come in the afternoon because most of the centres have exceeded the specified number the EC is working with.