A Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC), Dr Eric Bossman Asare, has expressed optimism that the limited voter registration exercise, which starts Tuesday, September 12, will be highly patronised.
He said they are targetting 800,000 eligible first-time voters and with the modalities they have put in place, that will be achieved.
“We rolled this out and if there are challenges we will go back to the drawing board but currently per the discussions and the analyses that we have done, we are very much convinced that Ghanaians who want to register and take part in the district level elections this year and those who also wanted to register in 2022 and are already 18 years, they will come in their numbers to come and register,” Dr Bossman Asare said on TV3‘s New Day on Monday, September 11.
“But if we receive information contrary to that, the EC will go back to the drawing board but currently on the basis of the evidence we have, we are convinced that registering at the district level will ensure the integrity of out register and Ghanaians will also come out in their numbers.”
This comes after seeming unanimous resistance to the decision by the EC to conduct the registration at its district offices.
Many political parties and civil-society groups have indicated that the exercise at the district offices of the EC could disenfranchise most first-time voters.
Five of the parties including the leading opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), proceeded to court to seek an injunction on the exercise. This was not heard.
NDC’s 2024 flagabearer, John Dramani Mahama, in a Facebook Live address, also demanded of the EC to extend registration centers to electoral areas.
“I wish to add my voice to those who have called on the EC to reconsider its decision to restrict the registration exercise to its district offices only,” he said.
“It is also our very strong recommendation that in line with regulation 22(b) of CI 91 as amended by CI 126, the Commission listens to the call for the extension of the exercise to take place in the electoral areas and not limited to the district offices of the Commission.
“This will curb many inconveniences including transportation, lack of money to move from distant locations and access.”
The exercise is expected to take 21 days including weekends.
According to Dr Bossman Asare, another window of opportunity will be open for seven continuous months in 2024 ahead of that year’s elections.