The Electoral Commission (EC) has abolished the guarantor system where new registrants without the Ghana Card provided two Ghana Card holders as guarantors for their Voter’s ID card.
This forms part of sweeping reforms the commission is putting in place to protect the integrity of the voters’ register and the ID card.
The Deputy Chairperson of the EC in Charge of Operations, Samuel Tettey, made this known to journalists at the EC’s “Let the Citizen Know” encounter.
The abolishment will take effect after the maturity of Constitutional Instrument which is yet to be laid before Parliament. The Instrument is seeking to make the Ghana Card the only document for obtaining a voter’s ID card.
He indicated that the guarantor system is fraught with many challenges and could no longer provide a secure system of voter registration for the country.
Mr. Tettey refuted claims that the Electoral Commission was set to compile a new register, indicating that it is rather undertaking a continuous registration and hopes to capture between 450,000 and 550,000 potential registrants annually.
“We are not going to compile a new voters register. Rather, we would continuously register voters to update the current voters register to ensure that anyone who wants to register as a voter has the opportunity to do so.
“This registration exercise unlike the previous registration exercise will be continuous. As such, anyone who has the card can just walk to our offices and register. It is not a periodic or limited registration exercise that could disenfranchise persons who do not have a Ghana Card at the time of the limited exercise. This is an all-year-round process. As such, a person who doesn’t have the Ghana Card today can acquire it tomorrow and simply walk into a district office where he or she intends to vote and register,” he explained.
Mr. Tettey also debunked rumours that Ghanaians will vote with the Ghana Card in 2024.
“The card is only a requirement to register as a voter for those who have not previously registered as voters. Once you present your Ghana Card and successfully register as a voter, you will be issued a voter identification card which bears the features of the EC; namely, the code of your region, district, electoral area, and polling station.
“We expect all the players in the electoral process including political parties to encourage all those who do not have a Ghana Card to visit the offices of the National Identification Authority and register for the Ghana Card, after which they can also register with the Electoral Commission to enable them vote in the 2023 District Assembly Elections and the 2024 General Elections,” he stated.
He, therefore, urged the National Identification Authority (NIA) to speed up the printing of Ghana Cards to enable prospective voters to register to vote.