The Nationwide Biometric Voter’s Registration exercise started Saturday at almost all the designated cluster one centres between 0700 hours and 0730 hours, Ghana News Agency early morning monitoring revealed.
Registration Officials were seen busily but patiently attending to anxious potential voters through the registration processes, whilst others would be registrants waited for their turn in a queue.
According to the Electoral Commission, (EC) the nationwide registration exercise is to capture the data of approximately 12 million potential electorates for Elections.
The EC said the exercise would begin from 0700 hours and close at 1800 hours daily, including Saturdays and Sundays, for all eligible voters across the country.
It said about 45,000 temporary staff had been trained to operate the 7,000 digital registration kits for the exercise with the capacity to register between 100 and 150 persons per day.
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, EC Chairman, told the Ghana News Agency in an interview that for operational purposes, the nationwide exercise would be carried out in four phases with each phase lasting a maximum of 10 days, weekends inclusive.
The EC Chairman said phase one of the registration exercise would start from March 24 to April 2; the second phase continuing almost immediately from April 4 to13; third phase from April 15to 24 and the final phase running from April 26 to May 5.
He said four polling stations would be combined to form a cluster of registration points and advised all Ghanaians of 18 years and above with sound minds to take advantage of the opportunity to register.
The EC Chairman said registration would be done at centres, which would serve as polling stations during elections; in line with the basic principle of where you register is where you vote.
Dr Afari-Gyan assured people with disability that the Commission had readied itself to register persons with disabilities to enable them to exercise their franchise in the 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections.
He said:”If you are disabled, the machine will register you. If you have six fingers, the computer will register you, but if you have none, we will make special provisions for you.
As part of the registration process, prospective voters would be required to provide their exact date of birth, their current residential address as well as their hometown address.
Applicants will also be required to show evidence of eligibility to register by providing a birth certificate, valid passport, baptismal card, a valid driver’s license or a National Health Insurance card, the national ID card or the existing voter ID card.
The prints of all 10 fingers of applicants as well as their images would be captured digitally as part of the registration exercise.
In the event of an applicant having lost some fingers, the fingerprints of the available fingers would be captured.
Special arrangements have also been made for the registration of persons without fingers.
After the registration formalities, a registrant would receive a new voter’s ID card, which captures their photograph and a bar code with their unique ID card number.