The Electoral Commission must publish the names of all voters who have been expunged from the newly-compiled voter roll, the Chair of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Josephine Nkrumah, has said.
At a meeting between parliament and key election-relevant state institutions on Thursday, 5 November 2020, the NCCE boss said: “A lot of these names, about 16,000 of them, are not even aware that on the day of voting, they will get to the polling station and most likely be turned away”.
“What we do at that critical time is of utmost importance,” she warned.
A few days ago, a similar call was made by civil society group Care Ghana, saying without that, there could be chaos on the day of the elections.
Its Executive Secretary, Mr David Kumi Addo, who wrote to the election management body over the matter some days ago, told Kofi Oppong Asamoah, sit-in host of the Executive Breakfast Show on Class91.3FM on Monday, 2 November 2020 that: “We are yet to have any response from the EC”.
“We believe that this is a very important matter that the EC must not treat like the way they’ve reacted to the things we’ve asked of [in the past] because we are simply helping in ensuring that they safeguard our fledgling democracy and we are also helping for a free, fair and transparent elections, so that after the elections, the results will be accepted by everybody”, Mr Kumi Addo noted.
According to him, “we’ve made this call to the EC, we’ve waited to have answers from the EC that: ‘We’ll be able to do it or we’ll not be able to do it’, so that we’ll know the next step we’ll take but it seems the EC is treating this particular matter the way it has treated all matters that have come before it … and we are not going to leave this matter here because speaking to you this morning, I’m not sure whether my name is part of the 30,000 or it’s part of the register because we’ve not had any opportunity, after the exhibition of the register, to ascertain whether the [errors] that were realised, have been corrected or not and now the EC is telling us that it has expunged 30,000 names or disqualified 30,000 people, preventing them from participating in the upcoming elections”.
“We see this as a recipe for chaos”, Mr Kumi Addo said.
As things stand now, “a lot of Ghanaians, over 30 million, nobody knows whether his/her name is part of the 30,000 or not and whether there is evidence to ascertain that truly, it is 30,000 or less than 30,000 or more than 30,000. Nobody knows”.
“In this case, how do I know whether I’m eligible to vote in this particular elections or not?” he wondered.
“Everybody is sitting on tenterhooks. It is not the best”, he complained, adding: “Transparency, as part of the motto of the EC, must be brought to the fore, so that every Ghanaian will believe and trust the EC going into this election, so that, at least, we know that we’ll come out of this election without any violence or chaos and confusion”.
“That is simply the reason we are calling on the EC to publish the names and pictures of these individuals so that everybody will know their smoothness level”, he emphasised.
The EC announced the removal of the names on Monday, 26 October 2020.
The spokesperson for the EC, Ms Sylvia Annor, said the list of names that have been deleted from the 2020 voter roll will be made available at the various polling stations and advised persons whose names have been deleted not to attempt to go and vote on 7 December 2020.
“The exceptions list is made up of registered voters, who were found guilty by the district registration review committees at the various district levels.
“They were challenged, probably because they were under 18 years, non-Ghanaian, or gave wrong locations.
“During registration, we went offline, so we did not detect it immediately.
“The names of about 30,000 registered voters have been deleted or expunged from the provisional voter register because they are either on the exceptions lists or the multiple lists.
“The multiples list is made up of names of all those who engaged in double voting during the voter’s registration exercise.
“The fact that you were able to sail through at the registration centre because the registration officers were not connected to the main system does not mean that you will sail through.
“They cannot register for some time. The lists will be made available at the polling stations. On election day, there will be the main register, multiple lists, and exception lists.
“It will be better not to go to the centre if your name is expunged”, the EC spokesperson noted.