Figures from the Electoral Commission’s controversial new voters’ register is have been flagged as fraudulent by observers monitoring the process.
Preliminary information picked up by Whatsup News shows that the Electoral Commission (EC) may be astronomically padding actual figures of those who have registered. For instance, the actual registration figure recorded at the Offinso North constituency in the Ashanti Region was 7,869, but the EC record shows that some 26,886 people registered. This is more than three times the actual data captured at the various registration centres in the constituency.
From the Offinso constituency alone, the EC may have added some 19,017 phantom figures to the real figures, Whatsup News gathered.
Incidentally, places known to be traditionally a stronghold of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) is seeing lower numbers than was actually recorded at registration centres.
For instance, the EC claims it has registered a total of 38,551 in the Oti Region, but alternative data shows that 43,197 was the actual number recorded, registering a deficit of some 4,646.
This disturbing trend has been corroborated by the Director of Elections for the NDC, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, who has accused the EC of deliberately manipulating collated figures from the ongoing voters’ registration exercise.
“It is obvious that whereas the Jean Mensah-Bossman Asare-led EC is clandestinely ballooning figures emanating from a particular region, they are surreptitiously reducing those from the strongholds of the NDC,” Mr. Ankrah complained in an NDC press conference today.
Citing examples, he claimed the EC is reporting to have registered 14,263 persons in the Afigya Sekyere East constituency, however, the actual figure is 8,975.
“The EC diabolically reported 14,263 instead of the actual registration of 8,975 which was an addition of 5,288 registrants to those who actually registered.”
Critics have sounded alarms over possible conspiracy between the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the EC, when the ruling party intensely defended the EC when it proposed its contentious plan to compile a brand new voters’ register despite the substantive register that has been used by the same EC to conduct three major elections within one year of the plan to overhaul the existing register.
On Wednesday, the EC sparked another controversy, by proposing mobile registration centres that will be driven to Senior High Schools (SHS) to register the so-called “Akufo Addo Graduates” who are the first batch beneficiaries of the popular Free SHS policy.
This mobile registration plan has been flagged as illegal and a clever scheme to manipulate the voters’ register because all polling stations in Ghana must be officially gazetted for 21 days before they can be activated for the registration exercise. Obviously, the EC had skipped that part.
Afriyie Ankrah noted that the EC would be breaching the law if it fails to “gazette a designated polling centre for 21 days” before registering students.
“As we have demonstrated thus far, the NDC ordinarily supports the idea of inclusivity in principle and would always welcome any move to enrol all eligible potential voters unto the register. However, we reiterate our position that the EC must at all times operate within its own laws.”
The EC has currently deployed registration officials to various Senior High Schools across the country to capture eligible voters onto the new electoral roll and also issue them their ID cards.