Local election observer, Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), has asked the Electoral Commission to provide a road map to Ghanaians about when and how it intends to ensure a clean poll roll ahead of the November 7 polls.
In a statement signed by its national Coordinator Albert Arhin, CODEO said in light of the controversy surrounding the sanctity of the electoral roll, it was imperative for the EC to level with Ghanaians about the timelines within which it intends cleaning the roll.
Below is the full statement:
CODEO STATEMENT ON HAVING A CREDIBLE VOTER REGISTER AHEAD OF THE 2016 ELECTIONS
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has been following the discussions on the subject of obtaining a credible voter register for Ghana ahead of the 2016 general elections.
These discussions have become intense following the submission of the report of the Panel of Five set up by the Electoral Commission to help address the challenges with the existing biometric voter register.
CODEO has taken notice of the Panel’s recommendation to the Electoral Commission to take steps to rid the current register of unqualified persons.
The Coalition is, however, concerned with what appears to be lack of clarity on the concrete steps the Electoral Commission intends to take to address the existing problems of unqualified persons and ghost names – several months after the Panel submitted its report to the Commission.
In view of the widespread public concern and mistrust of the voter register, CODEO implores the EC to clearly communicate to the general Ghanaian public a road map outlining the measures it intends to take to ensure a credible voter register.
CODEO urges the EC to treat the matter with the maximum urgency and attention it deserves as this is crucial to the electoral process.
CODEO also recommends the highest levels of transparency and inclusiveness in the EC’s management of the process of addressing the challenges with the register to foster public trust in the outcome of the process, and the ensuing final register. To this end, CODEO calls on the EC to update Ghanaians on the current state of the voter register, even before the commencement of the planned limited voter registration exercise later this month.
CODEO also suggests that the EC consults and secures world class expertise (locally and internationally) to help in the scientific auditing of the register, and subsequent cleaning. This should be combined with the EC undertaking random checks to verify the personal data provided by voters, for instance, by tracing such voters to their residential addresses.
CODEO wishes the EC maximum success in managing the electoral process and ensuring that the 2016 elections are peaceful and its outcomes credible.