EC issues COVID-19 guidelines for 2020 voter registration

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has released a set of health guidelines to prevent coronavirus spread when the voter registration exercise for the 2020 polls begins.

The EC has started awareness creation with posters to educate the public on procedures at various polling centres during the registration for the card.

This comes as Ghana registered 6,269 infections with 1,898 recoveries and 31 deaths as of May 21 amidst a ban on all public gatherings, except private burials, with attendees not exceeding 25.

The six rules outlined in the health protocol are wearing of face masks, temperature checks before entering registration centres, hand washing, social distancing, disinfection of biometric machines and hand sanitising.

In an earlier release on March 17, the EC dispelled rumours that the registration exercise had been cancelled and assured that it was “taking the necessary steps to guarantee the safety of the citizenry and safeguard them from the virus”.

“In this regard, the Electoral Commission will put in place concrete measures including providing sanitisers at all polling stations and providing a conducive atmosphere at all registration centres so as to protect its stakeholders from the virus among others,” the statement added.

The EC has also promised fewer than 25 people at every registration centre during the exercise.

We won’t have more than 25 people at a registration centre – EC

However, not all stakeholders agree on the acquisition of a new voter roll.

The Inter-Party Resistance Against the New Voter Register (IPRAN), which comprises the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), as well as Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) such as the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) had kicked against the compilation of the register.

The programme was scheduled to take place in April, but the coronavirus interrupted the plans of the EC.

With rising cases of contagion, a section of the public has asked the EC to shelve plans of organising the voter registration. However, the EC says plans are far advanced for the task.

 

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