Low Voter Turnout: It’s early days yet to conclude – EC

The Electoral Commission says it is early days yet to conclude there was a low voter turnout in Tuesday’s district level elections that is continuing in parts of the country today.

Although the exercise to elect assembly and unit committee members in the various districts across the country has been described as successful by many, it recorded poor voter turnout in most polling stations.

Speaking to Martin Asiedu-Dartey on TV3’s Midday Live Wednesday, the Director of Public Affairs of the Commission, Christian Owusu Pare, said initial media reports points to a low voter turnout.

He was, however, quick to add that they were yet to receive official statistics from their district officers before they can conclude on whether the election was highly patronised or otherwise.

“Reports indicate the turn out wouldn’t be appreciable but let me say that we currently don’t have any statistics from the field to say that the elections were highly patronised or there was a decline in patronage,” he stated.

He said statistics from their district officers would be made available to them in the course of next week for them to do “comparisons with previous years to determine whether the situation has improved”.

Touching on the generality of the election, he said it went well, considering the fact that there was voting in areas where materials arrived early and even late, adding that the biometric machine also functioned effectively.

Mr. Owusu Pare said over the years the Commission has been educating the electorates on the importance of the district level elections, noting they have urged them to attach the same importance they attach to the general election to the district assembly elections.

That notwithstanding, he said voter turnout has not been very encouraging over the years.

Voting with NHIS Card

Responding to reports that some electorates in Wa were allowed to vote using their national health insurance ID card, he said that is irrelevant considering that one has to have his name on the register to be able to vote.

“No one can use a NHIS card to vote. The first thing is that, your name should be in the voter register, and if your name is on the voter register, with or without your ID card, you can still vote,” he explained

He added: “Maybe if anybody went there with the National ID card, the NHIS, it is only probably that he wanted to be identified by that card because he wasn’t having his Voter ID. But that was completely irrelevant in so far as our processes are concerned”.

He said even with the voter’s ID card available, the person would still be scanned using the biometric machine, and that “the national health insurance card has no role at all to play in this election and if anybody took it there it didn’t serve any use.”

By Stephen Kwabena Effah/3news.com/ Ghana
Twitter: @steviekgh

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