Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Voter registeration turnout shocks EC

The Electoral Commission (EC) has described the turnout for the voter registration exercise across the country as abnormal, requiring urgent contingency plans.

The commission says the sheer volume of people who storm the registration centres is unprecedented.

Reports indicate that long queues of several hundreds of persons eligible to vote in the December 7 polls, are commonplace at registration centres across the country.

The commission says it is even more worried about reports of bussing of minors around polling stations to register.

The deputy chairman of the EC, Mr David Adenze Kanga told Joy News the current development is beyond the control of the commission.

He however promised that all qualified persons would be given the opportunity to register even on the last day.

"The number …is far in excess of what we anticipated," Mr Kanga said.

Meanwhile Joy News' investigations also revealed that the long queues may not necessarily be eligible voters under pressure to exercise their franchise in the December 7 ballot.

A snapshot of responses gathered revealed a veritable alphabet soup of reasons for which these persons would wait for hours under the hot scorching sun to get a simple card.

For a good number of the eligible voters, they only need their names in the voters register to, at least, secure a symbol of national identity.

Several thousands of eligible voters have not been registered although officials of the major political parties in the country have made strong appeals for an extension of the registration period.

Observers however say the large numbers of unregistered persons could fan a need for an extension by the EC.

source: joy fm

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