Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy Commissioner in-charge of Operations at the Electoral Commission (EC), says the recent pilot registration exercise has showed that the new registration equipment are robust and effective compared to the previous ones.
He said all the components of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits worked as expected; explaining that, the fingerprint scans for instance, did not reject any of the applicants who showed up to register.
“The laptop, camera and printer functioned very well,” he said. “This is a clear indication of how vigorous and efficient the new equipment worked as compared to the old BVR.”
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview, Mr Tettey said the Commission’s field visits and reports from the offices nationwide indicated that the process was encouraging on day one and the momentum increased the second day.
At the end of the first day, 745 persons were successfully registered, while 1245 were registered on the Second day, bring the total to 1,990.
“On the first day, the turnout was a bit slow and this was because the equipment were new. The pace increased when they became familiar with it on the second day and it took between three to eight minutes to register an applicant,” he said.
However, Mr Tettey said the Commission was not too focused on the number of registrants but on the efficiency of the BVR kits and its adaptability to various operating conditions in various parts of the country.
It was also interested in the evaluation of mitigation measures it had put in place to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 disease during the registration period.
Mr Tettey said the few issues that came up during the pilot exercise had been reported and the Commission was working with stakeholders to resolve them before the conduct of the main Voter Registration Exercise.
He said the assessment also attested to the fact that the registration setup was fluid and conformed to safety precautionary measures including, hand washing, wearing of mask by officers and the observation of the social distancing rule.
Regarding stakeholder participation, he said representatives of political parties, the security agencies, and some civil society organization were present to observe the process.
Mr Tettey said despite the hitch encountered in the Western Region, where the BVR Kit developed a fault on the second day, the exercise went on smoothly at all the designated centres.
“At that level of performance and with the continued enthusiastic participation of the Ghanaian public, the Commission is confident of registering some 13 million plus applicants within the first 21 days of the mass registration exercise,” he said.
He said the Commission would do its best to ensure the safety of registrants and urged them to follow the hygienic and preventive measures that would be rolled out during the registration period.
The EC plans to start the registration exercise at the end of June.
It conducted the test run in all the 16 regions of the country on Tuesday and Wednesday June 2 and June 3, respectively.