Registration hits 16.9 million as EC assures challenge system will rid all minors
The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Mrs Jean Mensa, is confident that systems implemented by the election management body will produce a credible register fit for purpose.
Mrs Mensa has acknowledged the possibility of a few unqualified persons on the register but has assured that the commission will address the anomalies.
Presenting the provisional figures of registered persons after the end of the 38-day registration exercise, Mrs Mensa noted that: “The Commission is mindful of the infiltration of foreigners at a number of our registration centres”.
She added that additionally, they were also “aware that a number of minors have also found their way into the register”.
However, they are optimistic that “the challenge processes initiated at all districts throughout the country will unearth these illegal persons and rid the register of those who do not qualify to be on the register”.
“We are confident that the register that will be used for the 2020 Elections will be a wholly Ghanaian enterprise reflecting qualified Ghanaians and Ghanaians only,” she emphasised.
At the end of the exercise, the number of persons who had their voter identification cards temporarily frozen were 37,762, representing 0.20% of the total register.
The Oti Region had the highest number of challenge cases per population, with 0.51% of registrations being challenged.
This is followed by the Ahafo Region where 0.38% of registrations were challenged, and then the Volta Region with 0.37% of registrations were challenged.
“It is evident that most of the challenge cases are from border regions with the exception of Ahafo. It gives reason to assume that the challenges relate to citizenship issues emanating from the infiltration of foreigners,” the EC Chair concluded.
EC panels across the country are reviewing the cases to either validate or reject the qualification of the applicants.
Ghana card users hit 60.09%
The exercise recorded a total of 60.09% of citizens using the Ghana card issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA) while 37.99% registered through the guarantor system and 1.92% registered with their passports.
The region with the highest number of persons who used the Ghana card was the Oti Region (79.1%) followed by the Eastern Region (78.5%). The Western North Region (76.9%) follows in that order.
The Bono East Region recorded the highest use of the guarantor system with 58.5% followed by the Bono Region and Ahafo Region.
In both regions, 57.7% of the registered population used the Guarantor system.
At the end of the two-day mop-up exercise, a total of 30,814 persons successfully registered as part of the 2020 voters registration exercise.
This raised the total number of registered persons to 16,963,306.
Mrs Mensa pointed out that the process of deduplication which is ongoing will flag multiple registrations in the system.
She expressed gratitude for excelling beyond the EC’s benchmark for the exercise.
“To the glory of God, we have exceeded the set target of 15 million and recorded a total number of 16,963,306 million registrants.
“We experienced a six-week period of no rain in a rainy season. In spite of the COVID-19 fears and threats, the turnout by applicants at all registration centres throughout the country was massive, leading to the high number of registrants”.
Number of persons with disability
At the end of the exercise, 64,966 persons living with disability had successfully registered in the process.
This represents 0.56% of the total number of persons, and the EC believes it “demonstrates good progress”.
The Commission wanted to ensure that vulnerable groups, the aged, persons with disability, pregnant women felt comfortable to participate in the exercise hence an arrangement was made for them to register at the district and regional offices of the EC.
The provisional statistics showed that 8,775,609 women registered, compared to 8,187,698 men.
Women make up 51.73% of the register while men are pegged at 48.27%.
The Upper East Region recorded the highest number of female registrants per population with 54.6%. The Western Region had the highest number of male registrants per population with 51.2%.
First timer voters
The exercise produced 762,944 18-year-olds. This figure represents 4.5% of the total register, while the 19-year-olds captured were 612,104.
In total, the two groups comprised 1,375,048 representing 8.1% of the total register.