The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC) Jean Mensah, has shocked Ghanaians by admitting that the newly compiled voters’ register contains minors and foreigners.
The EC in the past two months has compiled a new register that captured 16.9 million voters for the December 7 general elections, but the register has replicated the exact problems of the former register which it adamantly claimed it was correcting with the new electoral roll.
“We are aware that a number of minors have found their way onto the register and we are confident that the challenge process initiated at all districts throughout the country will help deal with this illegality and rid the register of those who do not deserve to be there,” Jean Mensah told the media during a press encounter today.
The EC had vehemently resisted widespread opposition from civil society organizations and a cross-section of the public to arm-twist both the Ghanaians Parliament and the Supreme Court to allow it blow some GHC 400 million into the compilation of a new register.
The EC’s main argument for compiling a new register was that it wanted to eliminate the proliferation of foreigners and minors in the old register through the use of superior biometric systems.
After the registration exercise, the EC had praised itself for delivering “the most credible register in the history of the Fourth Republic”, only to admit a few days after that the register was indeed compromised with illegal entries.
This announcement, therefore, means that the EC may have caused a mammoth financial loss to the state.
Indeed, due to the significant flaws in the new register and barely a day after the registration exercise was complete, the EC was already composing a 12-man committee to start manually extracting multiple registrations and illegal entries in the new register.
Already, civil society organisations who have followed the registration exercise closely had raised reg flags about the credibility of the new register. Franklin Cudjoe, the Founder of policy think-tank, IMANI-Africa had described the new register as fraudulent and worthless.
Franklin Cudjoe said the close to 17million eligible voters registered by the just-ended voters registration exercise goes to prove that the EC’s claim of over-bloating was baseless.
The previous voters register contained approximately 16.8 million people while the new one has 17 million, proving that the EC had barely “cleaned up” 200,000 people from the register-taking into account those who may have died.
By the close of the exercise, the EC registered 16.96 million people, against the previous register containing 16.8 million voters.
The new register is dominated by women who make up 51.73% while male voters are the minority at 48.27%.