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General News of Thursday, 9 November 2000

Source: Daily Graphic

836, 273 names expunged from voters register

A total of 836,273 names have so far been expunged from the voters register. This has consequently brought down the previous figure of 10.7 million eligible voters in the register to 9,863,72. Mr. Kwame Damuah Agyeman, Chief Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), disclosed this to the Graphic in an interview in Accra yesterday. The EC recently stated that the voters register of 10.7 million was bloated by as much 1.5 million names. It contended that if half of the country’s 18.4 million people are 18 years and above, then only 9.2 million names and not 10.7 million, as was previously the case, should be on the register.

The EC also indicate that the names of dead persons as well as people who lost their identity cards and indulged in fresh registrations were two of the reasons for the bloating of the register. In addition, names of unqualified persons such as minors and those who have engaged in multiple registration also contributed to the swelling of the register.

According to the new figures release by the EC, the Ashanti Region recorded the highest figure of 1,980,550, followed by the Greater Accra Region with 1,845,880 and the Eastern Region with 1,187,553 eligible voters.

The others, in a descending order, are Western Region, 1,076,277; Brong Ahofo Region, 1,042,299, and Volta Region, 983,766.

The rest are Northern Region, 931, 182; Central Region, 870,115; Upper East, 486,853, and Upper West Region with 303, 252.

According to the EC officials, these figures are the product of the revision of the register in May this year and the removal of the names that are not qualified to be featured in the register.

Mr. Damuah Agyeman reiterated the determination of the EC to purge the voters register of unqualified or unwanted names, stressing that this is the collective task of all Ghanaians.

He urged the political parties and the general public to co-operate with the EC by, among others things, providing it with the relevant information on the names of deceased persons, minors and multiple registration to help the commission further cleanse the register, make it more credible and strengthen the basis for the free, fair and transparent conduct of the December 7 general elections.