The Electoral Commission (EC) has refuted allegations that it is deliberately attempting to deny voters their right to vote during the ongoing limited voter registration exercise.
The EC refuted these assertions, claiming that, with the exception of Savannah Region, all 15 regions experienced the problem of malfunctioning devices.
In a press briefing with the media on Monday, 18 September 2023, the Electoral Commission’s Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said that the claims are incorrect but recognized that there have been issues resolved and that the registration process is progressing smoothly.
“As a Commission, we are working around the clock to ensure that every eligible voter or person who is eligible to register does so with ease. We have heard allegations from various quarters that the Commission is disenfranchising eligible voters and this is false. It is not in our interest to disenfranchise any eligible voter. We pride ourselves that our voter register meets international best practices”.EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa
The Electoral Commission has clarified that limiting voter registration to district offices would not in any way result in voters losing their right to vote because the commission plans to hold ongoing registration in the district offices as well as mop-up operations in difficult-to-reach areas prior to the 2024 elections.
“We are well aware that the Commission’s policy to use our 268 district offices as registration centres have attracted some criticism from some section of society and as you are all aware, the Commission conducted a full-blown registration exercise in some 33,000 plus polling stations in 2020 and it is important to note that the current exercise is an update of the register”EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa
Madam Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral commission noted that this will not be the only registration exercise the Commission would conduct before the 2024 elections.
EC Registers 182, 831 Voters Within Six Days
According to the Electoral Commission, it has registered a total of 182,831 voters in the first six days of the limited voter registration exercise being conducted across the country.
At a news conference titled “Let the Citizen Know” on Monday in Accra, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, made this announcement.
“At the end of six days, we have recorded a total of 182,831 registered voters. Western region recorded 11,644 representing 6.4% of persons registered; Western North registered 6,491 representing 3.6%; Central region registered 17,590 representing 9.6%; Greater Accra region has registered 27,264 representing 14.9%; Volta region registered 12,681 representing 6.9%.
Oti region registered 4,427 representing 2.4%; Eastern region registered 19,327 representing 10.6%; Ashanti region registered 29,255 representing 16%, Bono region registered 6,580 representing 3.6%; Ahafo region registered 4,244 representing 2.3%; Upper East registered 8,639 representing 4.7% and Upper West region registered 5,241 representing 2.9%”.EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa
The EC Chairperson further disclosed that 53.9% of the participants were men and 46.1% were women.
On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, all 268 District offices of the commission nationwide opened for the Limited Voters’ Registration Exercise, which allowed eligible Ghanaians who had reached the age of 18 or older to register to vote.
It was done in conjunction with the EC’s planning for the 2024 general elections.
Ghanaians who had reached the age of 18 since the last registration in 2020 and those who were older but couldn’t register during the 2020 registration exercise were eligible to participate in the registration activity, which would end on Monday, October 2, 2023.
The Electoral Commission has been accused by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) of delivering intentionally defective registration equipment to its strongholds, making it harder for first-time voters there to register.
The National Democratic Congress has further asserted that the Electoral Commission conspired with the government’s New Patriotic Party (NPP) to deny voting rights to eligible individuals.