The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has said that the ongoing voter’s register has turn out to be total chaos exposing Ghanaians to COVID-19.
They warned that there could be far-reaching consequences if the Electoral Commission does not enforce COVID-19 safety protocols at centers in the ongoing mass voter registration exercise.
The party’s director of elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah who was speaking at the NDC’s press briefing on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, said the chaos and the laxity in the social distancing rule are indicative that the electoral management body has lost control over the situation.
“There has been total chaos. Ghanaians will recall that one of the major concerns of the NDC, CSOs and medical superintendents, and health workers, lecturers and ordinary Ghanaians raised about the compilation of the new voters’ register was the risk of exposing Ghanaians to the further spread of the novel coronavirus. Our predictions were right”, he stated.
According to him, “The EC despite the assurances by the Electoral Commission that they will ensure the observance of COVID-19 safety protocols, they have lost total control over the process. From the beginning of the exercise, we have witnessed complete disregard for COVID-19 protocols. While we observe that the wearing of face mask is being strictly enforced, upon entry at the registration center, social distancing and washing of hands are not been observed.”
Since the beginning of the voter registration exercise, one of the assessments that have heavily featured is the concerns over the lack of social distancing at the centers.
As a result, the EC has introduced what it calls the queue management system at all of its registration centers to tackle issues with overcrowding.
The queue management system will ensure that the first 150 applicants who arrive at the registration centers will be provided with “numbered chits”, according to the EC.
The first half of this number will be served from morning to early afternoon, while the second half will be asked to leave the centers and return in the afternoon when the registration process for the first batch has been completed.
Some health professionals in the country have written to the Electoral Commission asking the electoral management body to pause the ongoing voter registration exercise until safer ways of conducting the exercise are identified to prevent further spread of COVID-19.
Source: DailyNewsGhana.com/Michael Agyapong Agyapa