The Electoral Commission’s pilot of the anticipated Voting Registration exercise in the Western Region has been suspended.
3news.com can report that the BVR machine used to capture the bio-data of applicants has developed a fault. Officials who were at the section to capture the bio-data have already packed off the machine. The about 15 persons who were at hand to register have all left the regional office of the EC.
This morning when 3news.com got to the regional office of the Electoral Commission in Sekondi at 7:00 am about 8 persons were already at hand to go through the process. Officials who were at the section where the BVR machine is were seen busily setting up the machine. However, tried as they could, the power to the machine will not switch on. Different power cables were tried but that did not help.
The Regional office is currently left with only staff of the commission and party representatives as the applicants have all left.
Deputy Western Region Secretary of the NPP, Rex Jonfiah told 3news.com that he will wait on the regional director of the EC for an official comments on why the exercise has been suspended.
“I was told they were using one machine and no backup. So I want to find out the magnitude of the problem for which reason the whole exercise has been stopped”, he said.
“… you were here yesterday and you saw that the exercise was very smooth. What has happened I believe is solvable. So lets have the patience and wait for official explanation”. he added.
On his part , the Western Region Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Joe Nelson, the party is vindicated.
“The timing is wrong. In fact the whole venture is unnecessary. Because per the EC’s own assessment the electoral roll is credible. This roll has been used by the EC for many exercises and the EC deemed those exercises credible”, he noted.
“If 6 months to a general election you are having difficulties in piloting a new system to be used for the mass registration what confidence does that engender in the actual exercise. Indeed when is the anomaly going to be corrected and will there be a second round of the piloting. So where does that leave the credibility of the exercise itself”, he added
Ato Mahama, a resident of Sekondi who was at the office to test the process said, “if at the regional office we will have this challenge then you can imagine what will happen at the polling stations and especially those at the remote areas”.
A total of 73 persons were registered on the first day of the pilot exercise.
They were made of 53 males and 21 females.
It took an applicant an average time of 10 minutes to go through the process.
The exercise started at 8:00am and ended at 3:00pm.
By Eric Yaw Adjei |3news.com|Ghana