The suggestion that there is something suspicious going on in the strongholds of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in terms of the registration for Voters’ Identification Cards is completely apocryphal and high fantasy, Bright Simmons has said.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that there is something peculiar about the situation in the Volta Region”, Honorary Vice President of IMANI Africa, Mr. Bright Simmons observed when he spoke on Newsfile.
In 2013, the then running mate to candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia alleged that the NPP uncovered evidence that shows that close to 80,000 Togolese had registered as Ghanaians in the voters’ register, hence the need for a new register.
But Mr. Bright Simons has questioned the veracity of the claims that Togolese nationals are registering to vote in Ghana and wondered how much of an impact that can have on the national election.
According to him, the Volta Region (Oti Region inclusive) in the year 2000 had 983,000 registered voters on the electoral roll and over the period it has seen a 35 percent increase in that number.
The Vice President of IMANI Africa said “If you compare that to Ashanti Region where in 2000, they had less than 2 million people, today they have almost 3 million which represents 50 percent increase.”
The Electoral Commission (EC) said the old voter register compiled in 2012 was not credible.
“Do you know the logistical feet involved in bringing enough people from Togo to register to a point where it can impact a national election? In a register that we have 17 million people, you’ll need to bring about a 100,000 people or thereabouts?”
“Do you know the number of vehicles you will need? Do you know the impact on border crossing and what it will mean for normal flow of goods and services?” Simons questioned.
Mr. Bright Simmons debunked all the claims of a bloated register, insisting that the figures from the Volta Region are consistent with trend analysis of the electoral cycles in the past.
Currently, the Volta and Oti Regions combined accounts for about 1.4 million voters on the new register.