Two years ahead of the next general elections, the Electoral Commission (EC) has announced significant changes to voter registration and voting.
With the development of a constitutional instrument that has not yet been laid, these will have an impact on the source papers for voter registration and the voter ID system.
At the Commission’s “Let the Citizen Know” meeting, Samuel Tettey, the deputy chair, spoke to journalists.
Samuel Tettey, the deputy chairman of the Commission in charge of operations, claims that the guarantor system is riddled with difficulties and is no longer able to offer a safe system of voter registration for the nation.
The Commission states that it will not be creating a new voter’s register in regards to voter registration.
However, it is currently undertaking a continuous registration program in an effort to enroll between 450,000 and 550,000 potential registrants each year.
“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 the 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 requesting that the National Identification Authority (NIA) speed up the printing of the Ghana card in order to facilitate the registration process for potential voters, the statement refuted claims that the Ghana card would serve 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 anticipate that all participants in the electoral process, including political parties, will encourage everyone who does not currently possess a Ghana Card to visit the National Identification Authority’s offices and apply for one. Once they have their Ghana card, they can then register with the Electoral Commission to cast a ballot in the 2023 District Assembly Elections and the 2024 General Elections.