The Electoral Commission ( EC) has stressed the need for the compilation of a new voters register for the up coming general election adding that the exercise is not a waste of resources.
The EC in its quest to compile a new voters’ register said it is committed to judiciously spending the about GH¢400 million it was granted by Parliament to be spent on the process.
Speaking at a press conference in Accra, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission in-charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey said the amount will be expended mainly on procuring electoral materials as well as recruitment of election officials for all polling stations across the country.
“The expenses relate to the cost of hiring registration officials and procurement of consumable registration materials. It is worth mentioning that the current administration of the commission is committed to judicious use of state resources for electoral activities,” he said. ”
EC’s Samuel Tettey further explained that the amount planned to be used for the new register and electoral process will be a prudent expenditure compared to previous expenses for similar exercises
“The cost of the 2012 voter registration was GH¢169,720,146 that of 2014/2015 supplementary registration also cost the commission GH¢287,559,379. In 2016, the revision of the voter’s registration was GH¢487,998,714 and it is also important to note that the compilation of a new voter’s register in 2020 is estimated to cost GH¢390,265,186.44 and that is what we are referring to here, “ he added.
The EC emphasized that the voters register as it stands currently is bloated because there has not been an effective means of cleaning it after being used for 8 years.
“In effect, using such a periodic replacement register for subsequent election(s) will greatly affect the credibility of the election(s),” he stated.
Mr. Tettey further indicated that a bloated register increases the cost of elections highlighting that the Commission always procures election materials based on the number of registered voters.
“This causes a lot of waste as the number of registered voters exceeds the actual voters,” he said.
The decision by the EC to compile a new voters’ register has been a controversial subject in the country with political parties expressing divergent views.
The country’s largest opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) kicked against the move.
The party’s General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah has said there is no real need for a new register among other changes the commission seeks to introduce in the electoral system.