Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE”) has appealed to the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) to extend the limited voter registration exercise for ten more days to ensure the majority of Ghanaians who have turned 18 and above get registered.
Though the Electoral Commission (EC) has earlier offered to register eligible voters who were in line at the close of the limited voter registration exercise on October 2, 2023, but couldn’t get registered,
Owing to the long queues and crowded centers that characterized the closing day of registration as the Electoral Commission ended the 21-day limited voter registration exercise across the country, many potential voters could not be captured on the list.
In a communiqué after the close of the exercise on October 2, 2023, the EC indicated that “arrangements have been made to ensure that eligible citizens who are in the queue on or before 5:00 p.m. are to be given numbers and get registered on October 3, 2023.
“CARE” Ghana, in response to this through a press release, said the one day is entirely inadequate considering the mayhem and violence that disrupted the exercise at some centers, coupled with faulty registration machines that slow-paced the registration process.
It is important to state that voter registration is a constitutional right for all qualified citizens; therefore, inhibiting registration for eligible citizens is a breach of their constitutional right. Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution speaks explicitly against actions that purport to disenfranchise an eligible voter from being registered,” part of the statement read.
“CARE” Ghana is urging the EC to welcome their passionate appeal to extend the limited voter registration for ten days to ensure the majority of Ghanaians are registered so they can exercise their civic rights.
Read below for the full statement.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
EXTEND VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE BY TEN DAYS TO CAPTURE YET TO BE REGISTERED APPLICANTS
The attention of Care for Free and Fair Elections Ghana (“CARE” GHANA) has been drawn to an EC internal memo in circulation on social media purporting to extend the voter registration exercise that officially ended yesterday, Monday, October 2nd, 2023, by one day.
This document instructs EC regional directors to inform all district registration officers to give numbers to applicants who may be in the queue before 5 p.m. but may not be registered before the close of registration on October 2, 2023, to appear the next day, October 3, 2023, to be registered.
We find the decision to extend the registration exercise by just one day inadequate considering the violence that disrupted the exercise at some centers and the faulty registration equipment that slowed down the registration at various centers.
This, culminating in limited registration centers and the difficulty in accessing EC district offices for registration, has left lots of prospective applicants unregistered. Consequently, one day cannot be considered sufficient to cover the backlog.
We will like to draw the commission’s attention to the fact that the constitution entitles every eligible voter to a registration and also mandates the commission to expand the voter role.
It is important to state that voter registration is a constitutional right for all qualified citizens; therefore, inhibiting registration for eligible citizens is a breach of their constitutional right. Article 42 of the 1992 Constitution speaks explicitly against actions that purport to disenfranchise an eligible voter from being registered.
Reports from the media and “CARE” Ghana’s registration monitors evidently confirm that the majority of the youth are yet to be captured; therefore, one day is inadequate to cover all.
We urge the EC to extend registration for ten days to ensure that the majority of the youth are registered.
David Kumi Addo
Executive Director (“CARE” GHANA)
Story by Lawrence Odoom