Three Ghanaian teenagers and a civil society group have dragged the Electoral Commission and Attorney General to court over the former’s decision to use its district offices for the upcoming limited registration exercise.
The EC will June 7, 2019 open the voters register for qualified persons to enter their names into the country’s electoral roll.
The exercise will however be held at the commission’s district offices rather than in polling stations, a move that has been condemned by all political parties and civil society groups.
In a judicial review application filed on their behalf by lawyer Elikplim Agbemava at the High Court, Jean Ebenezer 19, Agnes Esther Lamptey 19, Abdul Latif Husein 18, Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana argue that the exercise should be held in all 6000 polling stations nationwide rather than the EC’s 250 district offices.
The applicants believe the decision of the EC which they describe as unreasonable; will reduce access to the registration centers for them and other new voters.
The decision to use the district offices for registration purposes, the applicants believe is contrary to the requirement imposed by the law.
The applicants believe the reduction of the number registration centers from 6000 to 250 is a significant reduction that will not only make the centers inaccessible but also make access to the centers expensive and risky.
They believe that the move is undermining their right to vote as registration to vote is key to the enjoyment of that right granted by the constitution.
The three teenagers pointed out district offices by their location are far from them and many new voters who are interested in registering hence unsuitable for the purpose.
The first applicant, lawyer Elikplim Agbemava reveals has to travel 26 kilometers, while the other two applicants have to travel 2 miles to get to their district offices if they want to register.
The applicants are of the opinion that they should not be forced to travel such long distances on very bad roads when parliament has made sure funds are available to the EC to site a registration center close to them.
Bad as the situation they will be forced to endure is, the applicants believe there are several other new voters who will endure worse.
They believe the polling stations unlike the district offices are closer to them and other new voters.
Story: Sena Nombo/Radiogoldlive.com