A mop-up exercise has been carried out by the Electoral Commission in the East Gonja District of the Northern Region to register eligible voters left out in the national registration exercise as a result of faulty registration machines
The three affected communities where the mop-up exercise was carried out were Kulti, Kpambu and Kigbatito.
According to the Northern Regional Director of the EC, Mr Sylvester Kanyi, the two-day exercise began on Saturday and was expected to end by the end of yesterday.
“Since the exercise began, we have not recorded problems. It has been smooth and we hope it will end successfully, as we want to ensure that all the eligible voters who were left out in the initial exercise will be captured this time round,” he said.
Mr Kanyi, who spoke to the Daily Graphic, could not, however, give the figures on those registered so far, saying, “We can only get the number after the entire exercise ends at the close of Sunday.”
According to the District Director of the EC, Mr David Acheampong, although some people were not registered in some of the communities, the figures had been exaggerated.
He said during the nationwide mob-up exercise in June this year, many voters in Kulti and Kpambu were registered.
“In the case of Kigbatito, the community is beyond Yeji and, therefore, one had to cross the Volta Lake. Those who were not captured in the first exercise could not register during the two-day national mop-up exercise because the kits arrived late and sending them to the place at the time they arrived would have been an exercise in futility because of the distance,” he explained.
He said 508 people were, however, registered in the Kigbatito community during the first exercise.
In 2008, the population of eligible voters in that community was 628. That figure increased to over 700 during the registration exercise in 2010.
According to Mr Acheampong, 50,009 people were registered in the East Gonja District during the entire period of the registration exercise this year.
“From these figures, it is clear that the claim by the group that 7,000 people were not registered is certainly not true. Even though I agree that some people might not have been captured because of our inability to carry out the mop-up exercise, the figure is certainly not up to 7,000,” he said.
He, however, made it clear that the peculiar situation of the people of Kigbatito had been reported to the EC head office and gave an assurance that the commission would soon deliberate on the matter to find the way forward.
Two weeks ago, the East Gonja Civil Society Association (EGOCSA) in Salaga expressed concern over the inability of the EC to capture the electorate who could not be registered in the last exercise in March this year.
At a press conference held in Salaga in September this year, members of the association claimed that about 7,000 residents of the three communities were likely to be disenfranchised in the forthcoming elections if immediate action was not taken to register them.
The Executive Secretary of the association, Mr Abdul-Aziz Jawula, had said the people would embark on a massive demonstration if officials of the EC did not respond favourably to their request after one week.