Director of Electoral Services at the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Serebour Quaicoe, has revealed that the first target of the CI by the Commission is to ensure continuous registration of Ghanaians in the voter’s register.
According to him, the Commission is committed to ensuring that qualified Ghanaians and persons aged 18 years are not disenfranchised come the December 2024 elections. This, he noted, can be achieved despite the challenges inherent in Ghana Card acquisition which remains key in registering as a voter.
Dr Quaicoe indicated that the CI will help resolve tensions which occur at registrations centres and questions related to who a Ghanaian is and who is 18, especially among political parties during registrations. He explained that once an individual possesses the Ghana Card, the activity of registration by the Commission is continuous and it will end only on 7th of October, 2024 for the 2024 elections to take place.
Additionally, he noted that for about the 1.8 million Ghanaians who have turned 18 and do not have the Ghana Card already, they have more than two years to get the card and go to the district offices where they desire to register their names.
“The first target of the CI is to ensure continuous registration. Let’s bear in mind that we have already captured 17 million Ghanaians on our register; the register that was used for 2020 elections. So, statistically about 450,000 people turn 18 each year, so from 2020 to 2024, the time that we will be concluding the register for the 2024 elections, we are expecting to add 1.8 million people unto the register…”Dr Serebour Quaicoe
Relevance of CI in voter’s registration
Highlighting on the other relevance of the CI in reaction to the National Democratic Congress’s move for the EC to abandon the idea since the CI has not been formally laid before parliament and will largely disenfranchise many Ghanaians, Dr Quaicoe stated that it is meant to also address the issue of deceased persons on the Commission’s register. He revealed that over the years, this has posed problems for the EC.
“So, once a while, we say that the register is being processed because we are not able to remove names of deceased. So, this time round, we are also collaborating with the Registry of Births and Deaths, so, on agreed period, they will submit the names of all those who have passed on and we will remove them from the registers.”Dr Serebour Quaicoe
Commenting on the feasibility of the EC to register every Ghanaian by 2024 despite the challenges encountered by the NIA in issuing Ghana cards, hence the Authority’s decision not to give timelines to conclude registrations, Dr Quaicoe revealed that the Commission has had a lot of interactions with the NIA and the timelines “they were referring to was relating to the end of this month’s SIM card registration” deadline. Nonetheless, he stated that the Authority has given the Commission an assurance that it will be able to address all the challenges by the end of this year.
“Nobody is saying there are no challenges but how serious will we be as a country if we cannot use more than two years to address challenges confronting registration of Ghanaians?… So, we believe that no matter the challenges, they are surmountable.”Dr Serebour Quaicoe