Thirty-five per cent of Ghanaians on the existing voters’ register say they will not risk their lives to re-register in the upcoming biometric voter registration exercise being done for a new register for the 2020 general elections.
They have cited the fear of contracting the deadly novel coronavirus, which has infected close to 12,000 people and claimed 54 lives in the country, as the basis, a survey by the Chamber for Local Governance
Despite the surge in the virus, the EC has vowed to go ahead with the compilation of a new register to replace the existing one, which it claims, is not fit for the conduct of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in December.
The registration exercise initially scheduled for April 18 was postponed indefinitely but has now been fixed for June 30, 2020 following the easing of covid-19 restrictions by President Nana Akufo-Addo.
The EC has assured adequate protection and protocols will be put in place at the various centres to safeguard voters.
But the survey conducted between March 23 and May 30, 2020 showed some of the existing voters are not convinced of their safety at the registration centres.
“Ten per cent of the current voter population indicated strongly that they are having a second thought and hence have not yet decided whether they would go to the polling stations to reregister or not,” findings from survey showed.
“Their reasons were mainly based on the fact that the covid-19 cases in Ghana keeps rising by the day and they will only have a change of mind and consider registering if there is a clear indication that the covid-19 infections are coming down as at the time the EC announces the date for the exercise,” it added.
For seven per cent of the current voter population, they would re-register after they have assessed the public health and safety mechanism put in place by the EC at the respective polling stations and convinced beyond reasonable doubts that they would be safe and free from the contracting the virus.
However, nearly half of the current voter population (48 per cent) is ready and willing to go out to re-register if the EC is to go ahead with the biometric voters’ register.
According to the Chamber, a total of 4,800 people on the current register across the 16 regions of Ghana were interviewed.
It said 300 respondents were randomly selected from each of the regions and data collected was analyzed using SPSS method.
“A sample of the size yields country level results with a margin of error of +/-2 percentage points at 95 confidence level,” it said.