The Electoral Commission (EC) is proceeding with the Limited Voter Registration exercise at its district offices nationwide, beginning today, in spite of a pending interlocutory injunction filed at the Supreme Court by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and four other political parties.
The 21-day exercise is scheduled to end on October 2. It will start from 8a.m. to 5p.m. each day, including weekends.
The EC has targeted to register at least 1,350,000 persons in the 2023 Voters Registration exercise based on its projection that such a number might have attained 18 years since the last registration exercise in 2020.
A Deputy Commissioner of the EC in charge of Corporate Services, Dr Bossman Eric Asare, told the Daily Graphic that since the exercise had not taken place over the last three years for persons who have turned 18 years and above, “we expect the numbers to be huge in the opening few days and hopefully after a week it will normalise.”
He said the commission expected to register an average of 300 people daily in all its district offices, urging Ghanaians to take advantage of the programme to exercise their civic responsibility.
“Don’t forget, this is not the first time we are doing this; it happened in 2016, 2019, 2020 and even in 1996.
We have taken into account the concerns of the disability group and those who will travel long distances for them to be taken care of first,” Dr Asare said.
Dr Asare stressed that the main documents for the registration are the Ghana Card or the Ghanaian Passport.
He said in the absence of these, two individuals, who have already registered, could vouch for such persons as guarantors.
He gave an assurance that the EC would monitor and take a post-registration action in order not to disenfranchise any eligible Ghanaian.
Registration will be done online using the District Management System (DMS), as well as offline by way of the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kit.
Supreme Court application
Meanwhile, the five political parties had earlier filed an application for interlocutory injunction at the Supreme Court to restrain the EC from proceeding with the limited voter registration exercise, pending the determination of the substantive matter.
The parties: the NDC, Convention People’s Party (CPP), All People’s Congress (APC), Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG) and the Great Consolidated People’s Party (GCPP) were of the view that limiting the exercise to the EC’s district offices would not be suitable and accessible to every Ghanaian who is desirous of exercising his or her constitutional right to be registered as a voter.
As part of their reliefs, the parties asked the Supreme Court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of Articles 42 and 45 (a) and (e) of the 1992 Constitution and Regulation 2 sub-regulation 2(a) and (b) and Regulation 30(1) of the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2016 – (C.I. 91) (as amended by C.I. 126), the EC shall designate registration centres that are suitable and accessible to every eligible Ghanaian who is desirous of exercising his or her constitutional right to be registered as a voter.
They also asked the Court to declare that upon a true and proper interpretation of the above provisions, the EC’s decision to undertake the limited voter registration at its district offices would result in voter suppression, hence it was unconstitutional since it would violate first-time voters’ right to vote.