The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced sweeping reforms to voter registration and voting, two years before the next general elections.
These will affect source documents for voter registration and the voter ID system and will take effect with the maturation of a yet-to-be laid constitutional instrument.
Deputy Commission Chair, Samuel Tettey, told Journalists at the Commission’s “Let the Citizen Know” encounter.
Deputy Chairman of the Commission in charge of operations, Samuel Tettey says the guarantor system is fraught with many challenges and could no longer provide a secure system of voter registration for the country.
On registration of voters, the Commission says it will not be compiling a new voter’s register. It is however running a continuous registration, hoping to capture between 450,000-550,000 potential registrants annually.
“We are not going to compile a new voters register. Rather, we would continuously register voters to update the current voters register to ensure that anyone who wants to register as a voter has the opportunity to do so”.
“This registration exercise unlike the previous registration exercise will be continuous. As such, anyone who has the card can just walk to our offices and register.
It is not a periodic or limited registration exercise that could disenfranchise persons who do not have a Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise.
This is an all-year-round process. As such, a person who doesn’t have the Ghana Card today can acquire it tomorrow and simply walk into a district office where he or she intends to vote and register.”
While urging the National Identification Authority (NIA) to accelerate the printing of the Ghana card to ease the process for potential voters “we call on the NIA to accelerate the pace of the printing of the Ghana cards to make it easy for anyone who is interested in registering with us to do so”, it also debunked assertions that the Ghana Card will be used as an identity card for voting in the 2024 elections.
“We have also heard discussions to the effect that citizens will vote with the Ghana Card in 2024; this is not true. The card is only a requirement to register as a voter for those who have not previously registered as voters.
Once you present your Ghana Card and successfully register as a voter, you will be issued a voter identification card which bears the features of the EC; namely, the code of your region, district, electoral area, and polling station.”
“We expect all the players in the electoral process including political parties to encourage all those who do not have a Ghana Card to visit the offices of the National Identification Authority and register for the Ghana card, after which they can also register with the Electoral Commission to enable them to vote in the 2023 District Assembly Elections and the 2024 General Elections.”