My watch tells me that it’s eleven forty-seven. It’s day three of the biometric voter registration on the campus of the Institute of Professional Studies and about forty people in a queue are waiting their turn. The majority are seated on lovers’ benches specially aligned for the occasion with the most recently arrived people standing. The registration is taking place under a small canopy of trees and the dark clouds carry a promise of rain. That however is not the major concern for the people gathered to register, the problem is the printer. It hasn’t been functioning for the past twenty minutes.

‘The first day was slow’, Frederick Ohene Offei told me. He’s been sent by the party to supervise the NPP agents. He said only 72 people were registered on the first day. About 120 people were registered on the second day. He said one complaint they had had so far was some people who had wanted to register with birth certificates and who they succeeded in turning away. The only other complaint was the broken down printer.

Amaan David, the agent for the NDC corroborated much of what Frederick had said. He said registration had started about ten forty-five on Saturday but that the process had been smooth once it started. He said 46 people had been registered before the printer stopped functioning.

A quick survey of the people gathered revealed that most were students. One student who only gave her name as Mary told me that she was only interested in the card. Voting was not her reason for joining the queue to register. Two other students complained about the non-transferability of votes. Being a final year student myself I relate to that problem. By December 7, I’ll be undertaking my national service. Coming back to vote in my constituency will be difficult for me. Impossible, if I’m to be posted outside Accra.

The registration on IPS campus is largely peaceful. No disruption, intimidation or confrontation between party agents. Speaking of agents, PPP, CPP and PNC have no agents present. The striking aspect of their absence is how it has not been missed. It seems I was the first person to ask why they were not there. Others had taken their absence as a given. It leaves me asking: are they going to make any impact in this year’s election?

Jerome Wematu Kuseh
[email protected]


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