EC embarks on mass school registration exercise today
The Electoral Commission (EC) has today begun a two day registration exercise for all eligible final year Senior High School (SHS) students in the country.
This followed an emergency Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting held between the EC and IPAC in Accra yesterday.
As part of the extended exercise, mobile registration officers from the EC had been deployed to about 700 SHS campuses from July 10 to Saturday July 11 to register applicants.
Confirming the registration exercise, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, explained that, the decision was arrived at, after the Ghana Education Service (GES) had written to the Commission to entail the eligible students in the exercise.
He further stated that, the GES made an appeal to the EC that the observation of instituted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocols for final year students had prevented them from participating in the ongoing mass registration exercise.
According to Dr Quaicoe, the decision to organise the special exercise for the students was to prevent any qualified students from being disenfranchised.
“The students will get an opportunity to register and get their names on the electoral roll when our officials go to the schools. But it must be noted that those centres will not be permanent,” he said.
Additionally, all students who are 18 years and above and are eligible for the card have been asked to present their National Identification Card (Ghana Card) or Ghana Passport for the registration process.
Those without any of these two requirements are being advised to make use of the guarantor system.
There had been earlier suggestions that the EC should set up stations in the various schools to register students but that action was not taken immediately.
The EC, however, said additional days would be announced when it becomes necessary to ensure that all eligible applicants are registered.
The commission also assured that all COVID-19 safety protocols would be observed to safeguard both students and registration officials.
While the ruling political party, New Patriotic Party (NPP) was in support of the decision, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was against it and described as “illegal.”
The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Peter Boamah Otukonor has regretted that the EC was going to embark on such exercise in schools and called the decision as illegal.
“As you may already know, some of the schools are registration centres already and they have been gazetted so the ones that are not registration centres and have not been gazetted, any registration that is conducted on those campuses are null and void and it creates problems,” he said.
Mr Otukonor further stated that if the registration was a normal one they would have allowed the students to register at the closest registration centres rather than holding them on their various campuses.
“Now they have explained that they are going to add those registrations that they will do on the campuses to the nearby registration centres. How can you do that? If you are doing normal registration at the centre and you think it is nearby the school, why don’t you let the students move there to go and register?,” he quizzed