Phase one of nationwide voter registration exercise – the twists and turns
After a long tussle of the political parties over whether or not the Electoral Commission (EC) should compile a new voters register, the exercise finally took off across the country on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
Phase one of the exercise, which is expected to last six days, progressed steadily in some areas whilst some registration centres encountered technical hitches.
As expected, some residents queued at dawn for the exercise with the hope of going home with their cards on time. However, technical delays caused some people to stay longer than anticipated.
A major concern was how officials were going to ensure safety during the exercise while controlling participants amid the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Though some registrants adhered to social distancing and other safety protocols at the designated centres, those who monitored the commencement of the exercise observed that other individuals threw caution to the wind.
Officials, as promised, had put in place the necessary safety measures ahead of the exercise but observers said non-compliance of social distancing guidelines was evident at some centres.
Of course, thermometer guns were available to arrest those with extremely high temperatures and suspected symptoms of COVID-19.
Our photographer, Ms Lizzy Okai, was at some registration centres in the Ablekuma West Constituency in Accra, where no major incidents were recorded at the time of her visit.
The long queues were obvious but registration officers performed their duties without hindrance. Special seats were made available to the aged as the exercise proceeded. Majority of those spotted at the centre wore nose masks, and were patient enough for their turn.
Despite initial concerns, some registrants expressed satisfaction about the exercise as they walked home with their new voter identification cards.
Those who were yet to take part in the exercise, however, urged the authorities to fix the challenges ahead of the second round of the exercise scheduled from August 1 to August 6, 2020.
By Spectator Reporter