The Director of Elections of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Martin Adjei Mensah-Korsah, has described the Electoral Commission’s (EC) nationwide pilot registration process in selected polling stations as a “joke” since in their view, it will not address critical concerns they have raised ahead of the November polls.
He argued that the pilot exercise will not be an accurate reflection of what is expected to happen during the actual elections.
The EC announced yesterday [Wednesday], that it will on Saturday, March 12, 2016, organise a pilot biometric registration exercise nationwide.
A statement signed by the Commission’s Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations, Amadu Sulley, said the exercise would be held in selected polling stations in all the ten regions.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Korsah noted that the pilot exercise will not be a true reflection of what will happen on election day.
“Just as I have noted, I didn’t observe any thing new about those equipment. It was virtually the same process that we are used to having. If you have 29,000 polling stations, in this exercise, you have pointed out that it is being zoned down to 3,000 polling stations. How do you select 20 equipment for 20 polling stations and what true picture do you hope to get? Can this be a true reflection of what would happen in 26,000 polling stations?”
“I’m tempted to feel its a joke. This cannot be representative of how you think this equipment should function if…” he added.
He further stated that the EC should be focusing on the auditing of the electoral register, saying “For me, if we don’t take steps to fix this register, all of these are nothing.”
The system is satisfactory but let’s fix register – PNC
General Secretary of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Atik Mohammed, expressed satisfaction with the process but added that there were some issues that need to be considered.
Also speaking on Citi Eyewitness News, he said, “We did not have so many objections. We think that the improvements are worth their while, but there are outstanding issues that we think that the Electoral Commission should be addressing.”
According to him, the time spent on this pilot programme, would have been better spent auditing the register.
“The time we are going to spend on doing this pilot registration, we could have used that precious to me to start that audit process so that by April 26, we would have been don with this audit process and any other name that you would be adding to the register so that people will be comfortable”.