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Voters Exhibition Exercise Begins But Turnout Low On Day One   
 
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19-Jul-2016  
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Low turnout characterised the first day of the voters exhibition exercise at almost all the 29,000 exhibition centres.

The Electoral Commission (EC) yesterday began the exhibition of the voters register to give the electorate the opportunity to verify their personal details ahead of the general election.

The exercise, which is expected to run till August 7, 2016, will also allow persons whose names have been deleted from the register for using National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) cards to register to re-register, in line with a Supreme Court ruling.

Accra

Dominic Moses Awiah reports  that there was low turnout at the various exhibition centres yesterday.

 During a visit by the Daily Graphic news team to some centres, it was observed that most electoral officials were idle.

Exhibition centres at Adabraka, Kaneshie, Weija, Oblogo, Odorkor and other parts of Accra were virtually empty, as many potential voters appeared unaware of the three-week exercise.

As of 2 p.m., only 72 people had checked their details at eight exhibition centres. 

At the St Theresa’s School Exhibition Centre, only 12 people had been recorded as having checked their names as of 10 a.m.

The officer at the centre, Ms Esther Ankrah, described the turnout as normal, since it was the beginning of the exercise.

“Most people are already at work and may not be able to come and check their names in the register on the first day. Usually there is a high turnout during the weekend,” she said.

Background

The exhibition exercise was originally scheduled for May this year but had to be postponed due to a case that was instituted against the EC by Mr Abu Ramadan, a former National Organiser of the People’s National Convention (PNC), and Evans Nimako.

The Supreme Court, in its ruling on July 5, 2016, directed the EC to delete the names of all NHIS registrants and provide such persons with the opportunity to re-register.

The EC last week announced that it had deleted the names of 56,722 people who registered with NHIS cards from the electoral roll.

It explained that such people had the opportunity to re-register from yesterday to July 28 if they so qualified.

 Kumasi

Many potential voters in the Kumasi metropolis appeared unaware of the 21-day exercise, reports Daniel Kenu and Derrick Ndu.

At the 10 centres that the Daily Graphic visited yesterday, only a handful of people had gone to check their names, while 13 others who had had their names deleted from the register had re-registered.

The A. M. E. Zion JHS Lower A to C centres in the Subin Constituency were virtually empty, with only the New Patriotic Party (NPP) having a representative to monitor the exercise.

From Tema Benjamin Xornam Glover writes that the exercise started at the various exhibition centres in the metropolis, with exhibition officials describing it as being rather slow.

Meanwhile, a power outage at the offices of the EC in Tema disrupted work and the processes leading to the deletion and re-registration of persons who had used NHIS cards to register.

 When the Daily Graphic visited the offices of the EC in Tema, some affected persons who had gone there to start the process after identifying their names on the notice board were displeased with the situation but promised to call back to complete the process.

From Tamale Zadok Kwame Gyesi reports that voters in the Northern Region are likely to be denied the opportunity to check and verify their names in the voters register in the ongoing voters exhibition and verification exercise.

This is because trainees for the exercise have threatened to discontinue with the exercise if the EC fails to increase their daily allowance of GH¢19.05 to GH¢30.

According to trainee exhibition and verification officers, the daily allowance paid to them by the EC was not commensurate with the work they did work.

Allowance

The exhibition officers are to be given GH¢400, while the verification officers are to receive GH¢350 at the end of the exercise.

The group issued the threat in a petition which was addressed to the Tamale Metro Director of the EC, Mr Issah Natogmah, last Sunday.

The group leader, Mr Braimah A. Damba, gave the EC a three-day ultimatum to respond to their petition, otherwise they would discontinue with the exercise.

When the Daily Graphic contacted Mr Natogmah, he confirmed receiving a copy of the petition from the group and said it would be forwarded to the EC Chairperson for redress.

Vincent Amenuveve reports from Bolgatanga that the exhibition of the voters register and the re-registration of voters began slowly in the regional capital.

According to the Upper East Regional Director of the EC, Mr James Arthur-Yeboah, voters whose names were deleted from the register following the Supreme Court directive were supposed to re-register at the various district offices of the commission throughout the region, but checks by the Daily Graphic at the Bolgatanga Municipal Office of the EC at 11 a.m. showed that nobody had gone there to go through the various processes for re-registration.

At the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs Exhibition Centre in Bolgatanga, only 14 people had checked their names as of 10:49 a.m.

The exhibition of the voters register and the re-registration of the 2012 NHIS card bearers exercise by the EC in the Sekondi-Takoradi metropolis in the Western Region started in earnest but patronage was very slow, reports Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah.

Deborah Oluwamuyiwa reports from Cape Coast that the voters exhibition began in the Central Region with a low turnout.

Officials at the centres were almost doing nothing when the Daily Graphic went round.

Mrs Philomina Edusei, the Central Regional Director of the EC, said all 2,480 centres in the region were opened.

She said the EC was optimistic that the exercise would pick up in the subsequent days and that it would be a success.

Emmanuel Adu-Gyamera writes from Sunyani that the exhibition of the voters register in the Sunyani municipality started slowly, with only a few people trickling into the various centres to verify their registration.

Some people interviewed on the streets of Sunyani told the Daily Graphic that they would go to the centres in subsequent days to verify their registration.
 
 
Source: Daily Graphic
 
 

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