REMARKS BY MRS. JEAN MENSA, THE CHAIRPERSON OF THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION OF GHANA DURING A PRESS BRIEFING ON THE 2020 EXHIBITION OF VOTERS REGISTERHELD ON THURSDAY, 17TH OF SEPTEMBER 2020, AT THE ELECTORAL COMMISSION HEADQUARTERS AT 3:00PM
Good afternoon dear citizens of Ghana and our friends from the media.
We welcome you to another edition of Let the Citizen Know, the Commission’s platform for regular engagement with the citizens through our media partners.
We thank the Almighty God for His faithfulness and for seeing the Commission through a successful Voters Registration Exercise, an activity that is instrumental in the electoral processes as far as credible, fair and transparent elections are concerned.
The purpose for this engagement today is to inform our distinguished stakeholders of preparations we have put in place for the Exhibition of the Provisional Voters Register.
As the institution responsible for national elections, Regulations 22(1) and 23(1) of C.I. 91 enjoin the Commission to compile a provisional register of voters for each Polling Station indicating the particulars and photograph of each person whose application was received and accepted during the registration, and display it for public inspection.
As such, the Commission will display the Provisional Voters Register for public inspection and correction at designated Exhibition Centres throughout the country from Friday,the 18th Day of September, 2020 to Friday, the 25th Day of September,2020 from 7.00am to 6.00 pm each day including Saturday and Sunday.
The Exhibition of the Provisional Voters Register will take place simultaneously at all 33,367 Exhibition Centres across the country.
I would like to emphasize that all Exhibition Centres will open from 7.00am to 6.00pm daily.
All registered voters are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to verify their details.
Importance of the Exhibition Exercise
From our experience over the years, participation in the Voters Exhibition Exercise has been low. Citizens have not found it worth their while to visit the Exhibition Centres to check their details on the Provisional Voters Register.
We wish to emphasize that the Exhibition Exercise is an important aspect of the entire registration and election process. It is therefore important that voters take the time to check their details. As you may be aware, the Voters Register as it stands is provisional. This means that it is not final; that is why the law recognized the need for an exhibition process to enable all registered voters check and ensure that the necessary corrections and omissions are effected before the register is certified.
The Voters Register will only be deemed final after the Exhibition Exercise is completed and after authentication by the Magistrates who for the purpose of this Exercise serve as District Registration Review Officers (DRRO’s).
Ladies and Gentlemen, if for nothing at all, the verification of a person’s details is important for this very reason, as it affords each voter the opportunity to check whether his or her details are on the register and to request for an inclusion of his or her name where this is missing. The Exhibition of the Provisional Voters Register also grants Prospective Voters an avenue for verifying the accuracy of their details captured on the register and affords them the opportunity to correct errors, such as the wrong spelling of names, etc.
The other reasons for the Exhibition Exercise include the following:
- Objection to names of unqualified voters on the register:
(Any person entitled to be registered as a voter may object to the inclusion of names or persons of the Provisional Voters Register is he/she believes that they are unqualified to be registered as voters).
- Removal of names of deceased voters from the register:
(Any person who qualifies to register as a voter may visit the Exhibition Centre with information on deceased persons to have them removed from the register. Persons volunteering such information will have to produce the voter ID card of the deceased person and a proof of death of that person e.g. death certificates or burial permit).
- Replacement of poor quality or damaged voter ID cards:
(This is for persons whose photographs are of exceptionally bad quality e.g. too-dark, or too light or damaged such that the voter’s face cannot easily be identified on both the voters register and the voter ID card).Correction to wrong spelling of names and other registration detail
- Change of Name(s):
(Voters requesting for change of name must have published the said change in the gazette and are to provide documentary evidence to that effect, at the Exhibition Centre).
In the light of the importance of the Exercise we entreat all Registered Voters to take the time to verify their details in the Voters Register before it’s certification as final by the District Registration Review Officers (DRROs).
Mode of Exhibition
During this period of Exhibition, the physical copies of the 2020 Provisional Voters Register will be placed at all 33,367 Exhibition Centres to enable prospective voters verify their details as captured during the registration exercise and make requests for amendments or insertions where necessary.
It is important to note that all persons who registered at the various District Offices must go to their assigned Polling Stations during the Exhibition Exercise and not the District Offices.
In a bid to ensure the safety and security of our stakeholders and to make life easier for all prospective voters, the Commission will deploy a Mobile Telephoning System, also known the SMS to allow prospective voters to check their details using their mobile phones for a fee of 30 pesewas.
A prospective voter may access this system by simply texting his or her Voters ID Number to 1422 and immediately his or her details will pop up. With this simple process a Voter with the click of the button, can obtain the following details;
Voter ID Number
Polling Station Code
Polling Station Name
This facility will be available to all voters throughout the period, from Friday the 18th of September to Friday the 25th of September 2020. We are aware that a number of citizens have tried to access this platform before it was activated. We wish to assure you that your funds have not gone to waste. Our team has compiled your details. The system will forward your information to your phone once the platform goes live tomorrow. Therefore we urge you not to re-access the system.
It is important to highlight that a Prospective Voter will need to visit the Exhibition Centre if he or she notices an error in the details that pop up from the SMS service. This only means that there were errors in the details captured and recorded at the point of registration and this may be corrected if the Voter so wishes. In that case the Prospective Voter would have to visit the Exhibition Centre.
For the information of the General Public, the Commission will deploy 5,000 Biometric Verification Devices to selected Exhibition Centres throughout the country. The devices will be operated along-side the physical copies and the Provisional Voters Register.
These device will enable the Prospective Voter verify both biometric details, that is fingerprint and facial features as well as the biographic data, that is one’s name, age, etc.
The deployment of Five Thousand (5000) devices will afford the Commission an opportunity to pilot the devices.
Recruitment and Training of Exhibition Officials
To ensure the efficiency of the Exhibition Exercise the Commission has recruited a total of seventy-three Thousand, one hundred and seven Exhibition Officials to manage and oversee the Exercise. They include;
- Exhibition Supervisors
- Deputy Exhibition Officers
- Verification Officers
- Key Trainers
- COVID-19 Ambassadors
Each category has been provided comprehensive training on their respective roles. We trust that they will be professional, efficient and pleasant to all who visit the Centres.
The Commission is desirous of ensuring the safety and security of our stakeholders. As a result, we have recruited one (1) COVID 19 Ambassador to each of the 33,367 Exhibition Centres, who have been tasked to enforce the COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Commission.
All materials required for the successful conduct of the Exhibition Exercise have been procured and supplied to the Regions and Districts in adequate quantities. We are confident that the comprehensive plan put in place will ensure that there are no shortages of any materials at our Centres.
Settlement of Claims and Objections on The Provisional Register
As part of the process to ensure a credible Voters Register, District Registration Review Officers who are District Court Magistrates have been appointed and assigned the responsibility of deciding on all complaints and objections that are raised during the Exhibition Exercise. The DRRO’s will also authenticate the Provisional Voters Register by endorsing it.
The DRRO’s are required to communicate all decisions in writing to the Electoral Commission. The Commission shall, within fourteen days after parties to the case have been informed, comply with the decision of the District Registration Review Officer unless a certified notification on an appeal to the High Court is brought to its attention.
Observation of Commission’s COVID-19 Protocols
As part of the Commission’s commitment to safeguard its stakeholders at the Exhibition Centre, the following safety protocols will be observed at all our Centres.
- All persons entering the Exhibition Centre or queuing to enter the centre must wear a face mask.
- Upon entering the Exhibition Centre, a thermometer gun will be used to check the temperature of individuals.
- A minimum distance of 1 meter between Registered Voters in the queue will be observed at all the Centres.
- In Centres where the Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs) are used their surfaces will be cleaned with wipes, prior to verifying the fingerprints of Registered Voters.
- The Commission will provide hand sanitizers for Registered Voters to sanitize their hands when leaving the centre.
Our temporary officials have been provided with the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure they are safe for the week-long exercise.
Other important details on the Exhibition
- The Commission will display an Exceptions List comprising names of Registered Voters who have flouted the regulations on the Registration Exercise.
The Commission will also deploy the multiples List. This contains names of persons who engaged in multiple registration and during the Registration Exercise.
- Voters can still check their Voter Registration details in the event that theirID Cards are missing. Please note however, that being in possession of an ID Card makes it easier for you to check your details on the register.
- This current Exhibition Exercise is a display of persons who were captured during just ended Registration Exercise. Therefore, there will be no Voter Registrationongoing during this period except for corrections and updates on already existing data.
Ladies and Gentlemen, before we close the curtains to today’s edition of Let the Citizen Know, I take this opportunity to encourage our distinguished stakeholders particularly our Registered Voters to participate in this Voters Exhibition Exercise.
Your participation in this process will contribute to ensuring the credibility and integrity of the Voters Register which is the foundation document for the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary election.
We thank you for your kind attention and cooperation.
May God bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong.