Day One and Two of the nationwide exhibition of the biometric voters’ register in Ho has recorded fewer number of prospective voters turning up at the exhibition centers to verify data collated from them by the Electoral Commission during the recent biometric voter registration exercise.
The low turnout according to some of the exhibition officers, who were idling at their centres, is due to low publicity about the exercise and also the Ghanaian lukewarm attitude towards events of this nature.
A visit to some of the centers on Sunday afternoon revealed that less than hundred persons and in some cases a little over hundred persons have verified their information in the register within the first two days of the 10 days exercise which started on Saturday September 1.
At the Ho polytechnic exhibition centre, 25 persons came out for the exercise as of 4:25pm on Sunday as against 16 persons on Saturday out of a total number of 1022 registered voters.
The situation wasn’t different at Ho Kpodzi JHS ‘B’ exhibition center, out of a total of 669 registered voters, only 25 persons have turned up for the verification exercise as of 5:15pm on Sunday as against 10 persons on Saturday.
Mr. Raymond Kporvu and Ms. Victoria Keleve, the exhibition officers at Ho poly and Ho Kpodzi JHS ‘B’ respectively, attributed the low turnout at their centers to the vacation of Polytechnic and SHS students as they constituted majority of registered voters at those centers.
Also at the SSNIT flats exhibition center, 43 persons turned up for the exercise as of 4:35pm on Day two with 66 persons turning up on Day one from a total of 996 registered voters. Ms Sabina Essandoh, exhibition officer at the center, said she sometimes have to call passerby’s whose names are on the register or send children to call their parents to come and verify their particulars.
The turn up at Ho Bankoe Kponyigba E.P JHS, according to the exhibition officer, Mr. Simon Kokofi was ‘remarkable, though people were not willing to come out and check their name’. Day one of the exercise saw 127 persons out of 1177 registered voters coming for the verification as against 120 persons who turned up on Day two of the exercise.
The turn up, Mr. Kokofi attributed to the benevolence of some youth in the area who went round to inform residents about the exercise.
Mr Kokofi is therefore calling on the Electoral commission and other relevant institutions to intensify publicity on the exercise into the communities and churches in order to get more people to undertake the verification exercise before it ends on September 10.
So far, those who have verified their details have not encountered any major errors in their data in the register except the increase in the ages of some of them by a year.
Meanwhile,the Electoral commission have introduced an SMS technology to facilitate the checking of biometric details during the Voter Exhibition period.
This SMS system is to help registered voters access the Provisional Voters Register through their mobile handsets at the lowest possible network rates.
Registered voters can therefore verify their biometric registration details by texting their Voter Identification Number (I.D) numbersto short code 1413 across all networks in Ghana.
In a related development, Madam Lawrencia Kpatakpa, the Volta regional Director of the Electoral Commission has said, persons who have misplaced their new voter I.D cards can still go and verify their details at the centers that they have registered. She however cannot confirm whether there would be a replacement of lost I.D cards before the elections.