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EC should build consensus to avoid agitation at polling centres – Bright Simons

Vice President of IMANI Africa has advised the Electoral Commission (EC) to build a consensus with major stakeholders to avoid agitation at registration centres when the compilation of the roll commences.

Bright Simons who was speaking at Joy FM’s Newsfile Saturday, said with EC’s prediction of 15% failure rate at each polling station, an understanding between political parties will lessen resentment during the compilation.

According to him, the Commission’s prediction on failure rate at each polling stations means there will be 5, 000 flashpoints at each stations which could cause a stir.

“If the EC had built consensus towards this process, if they had worked with Civil Society and chiefs to build more confidence, it is very likely that anytime there is a failure, tempers will be much lower.

“Now we are going to see political party agents fighting at the centres anytime there is a failure,” he stated.

The EC on Tuesday and Wednesday conducted a pilot registration exercise nationwide ahead of the expected voter registration exercise later in June.

A mix of residents, EC officers and political party officials took part in the exercise nationwide.

After the exercise, the Commission in a statement expressed satisfaction with the “successful” pilot registration.

“At the end of the two-day exercise, a total of 1,990 applicants were registered, with 745 applicants registered on Day One and 1,245 on Day Two,” the Commission noted in a statement.

However, touching on the issue, Mr Simons said the EC should not be over confident with their projection since the pressure will be more during the actual roll compilation and could result in more failures.

He stipulated that, “The amount of work you [EC] have put on these devices is less than what you are going to do during the real registration. The amount of pressure that you are going to put on electoral officers, which may lead to mistakes is far less.”

“The degree to which the political parties are going to step up their vigilance, to challenge every voter can all slow things down. And by pure probability, as you increase the number, you converge to a certain central tendencies of failures,” he stressed.

Despite strong resistance against the compilation of the new register, the Jean Mensa-led electoral commission revealed at an IPAC meeting that, the compilation will begin from late June.

The Deputy EC Chair, Dr Bossman Asare says protocols have been put in place to ensure that the voting process is without incidence.

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