The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has urged the Electoral Commission (EC) to include the existing voter identity (ID) card among the documents individuals can use to establish eligibility to register in the 2020 registration exercise.
In a statement, CODEO said the vast majority of prospective voters in Ghana’s December 2020 polls already possess a voter ID card issued by the Commission which will foster a much more congenial atmosphere for electoral inclusion and peace if they are allowed to use it to register.
“Doing so will help reduce the number of qualified persons who would have to rely on the guarantor system, and thereby, help reduce the incidence of confrontation and tensions associated with the guarantor system,” the statement said.
CODEO added that it is deeply concerned about the inability of key stakeholders to forge broad consensus over a credible way forward for the compilation of the voter register, having regard to the exceptional circumstances brought upon the nation by the COVID-19 pandemic and the extremely compressed electoral calendar.
“After careful consideration of the critical issues at stake in the preparations towards the December 2020 general elections, CODEO wishes to draw the attention of the EC to significant challenges presented by the following provisions in the Constitutional Instrument (CI) 126, Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Amendment Regulations, 2020:
“a. The provision that proof of eligibility to register to vote can be established only by the production of either a valid Ghanaian passport or a national identification card issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA); that these two are the only legitimate identification documents for proof of eligibility to register to vote in the up-coming registration exercise; and
“b. In the absence of either of the two documents specified above, prospective registrants must fill out a ‘guarantor form’ to be endorsed by two ‘registered voters’”.