Address registration issues to restore public confidence – CARE-Ghana tells EC

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CARE for Free and Fair Elections (CARE-Ghana) has called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to quickly address the various challenges associated with the registration exercise to restore public confidence.

The group, in a statement issued on Sunday, May 12, signed by its Executive Director, David Kumi Addo, cited registration of minors, technical impediments, and administrative errors, among other concerns, stressing that such challenges further erode the “credibility of the registration process.”

“Reports have emerged detailing errors in the registration procedure, notably the registration of minors, alongside technical hindrances impeding the efficient operation of registration centers.

“These technical malfunctions, compounded by administrative oversights, have left voters disillusioned and apprehensive about potential disenfranchisement.”

The statement further noted that isolated incidents of violence also occurred at selected registration centers, “instilling fear and intimidation among citizens exercising their democratic rights.”

“Such violent acts not only contravene democratic principles but also jeopardize the safety and well-being of individuals participating in the registration process,” it emphasised.

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“In light of these challenges, we urge the Electoral Commission to promptly address these issues and restore public confidence in the registration process. The EC must conduct a comprehensive inquiry into all reported incidents and institute requisite reforms to prevent further irregularities.”

Moreover, CARE-Ghana urged the election management body, the EC, to resolve its standoff with political parties, especially the National Democratic Congress (NDC), regarding the recording of the serial numbers of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits.

According to CARE-Ghana, the EC’s restriction preventing the parties from recording the serial numbers has fueled “conflict and suspicion.”

“Additionally, the unnecessary dispute between the Electoral Commission (EC) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) regarding the recording of serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines has heightened tensions and capable of eroding public trust in the electoral process.

NDC, NPP agents record serial numbers of BVRs on the blind side of EC officials

“The restrictions imposed by the EC on political parties recording serial numbers have fueled conflict and suspicion, detracting from the overarching objective of fostering a transparent and accountable electoral process.”

“CARE-Ghana advocates for a three-day extension of the voter registration period to compensate for time lost due to these challenges, ensuring that all eligible citizens have sufficient opportunity to register without undue hindrance,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, some agents of the two main political parties, the NPP and the NDC, have been recording the serial numbers of BVRs being used for the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.

Read CARE-Ghana’s full statement below:

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