The Electoral Commission (EC) says it has detected some multiple registrations in the ongoing mass voter registration exercise.
The detection followed the commencement of a deduplication exercise by the commission, a process that involves using machines to match pictures and fingerprints of persons who have registered to detect duplication.
The Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quarcoo, told the Daily Graphic last Wednesday that an adjudicating committee would sit on the issue on Monday, August 3, 2020, reports Timothy Ngnenbe.
When asked about the number of persons involved in the multiple registration exercise so far, he said: "I cannot put out figures now because we are currently working on it, but, it will be ready by Monday."
Dr Serebour said the names of persons who would be confirmed to have engaged in multiple registrations would be deleted.
When asked what the fate of the culprits would be, he said their names would not be included in the final voters register, meaning such persons would not be able to vote on December 7.
As to whether they would be prosecuted, he said the EC would take a decision on that.
“We will look at all the cases issue by issue at the right time,” he stated.
Dr Serebour explained that the multiple registration might have occurred because of ignorance by some persons.
"We started registering on cluster basis so instead of waiting to have their turn, some people rushed to other polling stations to register and when the registration team got to their original polling stations, they went ahead to register again," he explained.
Touching on the dwindling numbers at registration centres across the country as the exercise inches to a close on August 6, Dr Quarcoo said it was partly because many people rushed to register when the exercise began.
He, however, said the development was a positive sign that more people had registered already, which had lessened the burden on registration officials.
"If the numbers are going down, it means that many people have registered and challenges with social distancing and other safety protocols have improved," he added.
Checks by the Daily Graphic in some centres in the regions indicated that the long queues that characterised the exercise from the beginning had vanished, and EC officials were issuing out about half of the 100 voter identification (ID) cards per day.
Daily Graphic correspondents who visited some of the centres are Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah and Biiya Mukusah Ali, Bono Region; Vincent Amenuveve, Upper East Region; Bright Selase Afavi, Volta Region, and Ruby Delanyo Buafor and Jennifer Kwasin, Accra.
At the registration centres visited, all the necessary protocols were being adhered to strictly.
Veronica buckets had been placed at vantage points for the washing of hands, and the temperature of applicants was taken before the registration process was triggered.
The centres visited included Kubinson International School in the Anyaa Sowutuom Constituency, the St Joseph’s Catholic School ‘1’ at Adabraka and the CMB Market in the Korley Klottey municipality.
The Registration Officer (RO) at the Kubinson International School, Mr Aziz Okai, said people came in groups of two and sometimes three, but so far there had been a decline in the number since my team arrived here,” he added.
At the St Joseph’s Catholic School, 160 persons had registered, three days after the registration caravan stopped there.
The RO, Ms Marian Tagoe, said registrants were not showing up as expected, making the centre a quiet place, as compared to the start when officers had no time or less time to go on break.
The situation was the same at the St Joseph’s ‘2’ registration centre where the RO, Ms Munira Tagoe, said 170 persons had registered there in the fourth phase.
When the Daily Graphic visited the Sumbrungu Kolbia Akuka registration centre in the Bolgatanga municipality at about 8.50 a.m. last Monday, six people had gone through the registration processes for the day.
At the Sumbrungu Market Square centre, the officer in charge, Mr James Mornah, said as of 9:09 a.m. 10 people had been issued with voter ID cards.
At the Kolbia Market Square, the situation was not different as the registration officials were less busy.
At 1.10 p.m last Monday the Anokye Showroom Registration Centre at Area One in Sunyani was empty but the RO, Mr Akumfi Ameyaw, said 29 people had registered.
The situation was not different at the Bakers Cooperative Office at Ahenboboano where the RO, Mr Benjamin Koomson, said 32 people had registered as of 1.30 p.m.
According to him, people were trickling in and attributed the low patronage to the mad rush that characterised the beginning of the exercise.
Centres visited in the Ho municipality included the Volta Regional Museum Office and the Methodist Primary School, Bankoe, where only a small number of applicants were going through the process.
An EC official at the Regional Museum Registration Centre, Mr Patrick Dzigbordi Adzah, told the Daily Graphic that eight applicants had been captured as of 11:30 a.m. since the day’s exercise started at 7 a.m.
“This registration centre is surrounded by three or more other centres, hence people could not wait for us to come here before they registered. They moved to register at clusters they were not supposed to register," Mr Adzah observed.