The Electoral Commission (EC) says none of the 17 million voters captured in the just ended voters’ registration exercise and the 45,000 registration officers, have reported of contracting COVID-19 during the nationwide exercise.
Dr Bossman Eric Asare, Deputy Chairman of the EC in-charge of Corporate Services, said at the end of the voters’ registration exercise, the Commission’s checks with the relevant state authorities such as the Ghana Health Service (GHS) and the National COVID-19 Task Force, revealed that no single person had been reported of having contracted COVID-19 during the process of registering as a voter.
Dr Asare said this on Tuesday in Accra, during a virtual panel discussion on day one of the STAR-Ghana Foundation’s two-day virtual learning event to mark the end of the first phase of its Elections 2020 Call programme.
He noted that ahead of the registration exercise, the EC put in measures to contain the spread of the virus.
“As a result of that, as a Commission, we had an engagement with the GHS. We also met the National COVID-19 Task Force, and they explained certain things to us. They told us the things we needed to do to be able to ensure that we don’t get to the point where the people may end up contracting COVID-19.
“Consequently, the EC put all the necessary scientific measures in place at all our registration centres. At the end of the exercise on August 8th and 9th; and even till now, nothing has come to the attention of the EC, that the registration exercise led to people contracting COVID-19,” Dr. Asare said.
He said the Commission remained committed to helping contain the spread of the virus ahead of the December polls and called for the support of all.
Dr. Asare said in 2016, the threshold for each polling station was 850 voters – no polling station exceeded 850 (voters) in 2016; stating that “but because of the pandemic in 2020, the Commission is saying that the maximum number of voters per registration centre will be 700”.
“… with this registration we undertook, any registration centre that has more than 700 people, we are going to split them into “A” and “B”.”
He said in the Commission’s estimation, such centres were about 6,000, “So, all the 6,000 centres that have registered more than 700 people, we are going to split them into “A” and “B” to reduce the queues at the polling stations.
“Depending on the alphabetical order of your name, you will either be in polling station “A” or polling station “B”.”
Alhaji Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, Chief Executive Officer, STAR-Ghana Foundation, said the Foundation had committed $250,000 for phase two of its Elections 2020 Call programme.