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Politics of Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Source: GNA

Sunyani records low patronage voter register exhibition

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Sunyani (B/A) July 11, GNA - Sunyani Municipality has not been left out of the low patronage of the voter register exhibition exercise currently going on in the country.

As at 1100 hours in the morning of Tuesday, the second day of the exercise, some of the centres had not recorded a single voter attendance whilst others had, as low as 10 voters who had reported to check their names.

At Akuoko Electoral Area, Mr. Anthony Frimpong, Exhibition Officer, told GNA that nobody had been there to check his or her particulars as at the second day of the exercise.

He, like many others, attributed the low patronage to the lack of proper education and adequate publicity about the exercise by the Electoral Commission (EC).

Mr. Frimpong stated that the lumping of the many polling stations was also another factor that had hampered the progress of the exercise, as many people felt reluctant to walk the long distance to check their names.

"Some people even mistake us to be officials for the registration of the National Health Insurance Scheme", he said.

The exhibition officer expressed the hope that voters would turn out in their numbers as the days rolled by, as typical of many Ghanaians who wait till the last hour before taking a decision.

He noted that this "last minute decision" would put unnecessary pressure on them.

Mr. George Mensah, exhibition Officer at the Akorakwadwo Electoral Area said only one voter checked his name on the first day and as 1130 hours on Tuesday only seven people had checked their names and particulars.

He also attributed the low turnout to lack of serious publicity by the EC, adding that when he complained, an official of the EC admitted that the Commission had not done its homework well.

Mr. Sylvester Ofori Mensah, exhibition officer at Ahenboboano, noted with concern that the low patronage stemmed from the apathy of some of people.

He said some voters were of the view that their names had already appeared in the registration books and as they had their voter identity cards as well, there was no need to patronize the exercise. Mr Mensah advised voters to come and check their names and particulars in their own interest, since failure to do so might cause them some problems in the near future.

He said only 27 persons had checked their names out of the more than 200 people registered in the previous registration.

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