Using Ghana Card will not disenfranchise any eligible voter – Jean Mensa
Using Ghana Card for voter’s registration will not disenfranchise any eligible Ghanaian voter, Mrs Jean Mensa, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), said on Tuesday.
She noted that the Constitutional Instrument (CI) that the Commission was seeking to lay before Parliament was not to disenfranchising eligible Ghanaians but to ensure continuous voter registration processes.
That would be inclusive as it would make it possible to capture all those who would, otherwise, have been excluded in a limited Voter’s Registration Process.
Mrs Mensa said this in her presentation to Parliament’s Committee of the Whole on the Draft Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2023, and the status of the ECOWAS Identification Card (Ghana Card) Registration.
She said the CI sought to promote the continuous registration of voters and advocated an all- year-round registration at the Commission’s district offices, which was a clear departure from the previous system where voters registration was done for a limited period.
She said the exercise was not a periodic or limited one that could lead to disenfranchising persons who did not possess the Ghana Card.
“This is an all-year-round activity. As such a person who does not 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.”
The use of the Ghana Card as a sole means of identification would guarantee the integrity of the Electoral Register, prevent the enrolment of minors and foreigners and eliminate the guarantor system, which was prone to abuse.
This conforms to Regulation 7 (1) of the Legal Instrument (LI) passed by Parliament; that is the National Identity Register Regulations (LI) 2111, which states that the National Identity Card shall be used for a number of transactions when required, including voters register.
To enhance transparency of the registration process, political parties might have their agents at the registration centre while the Commission regularly updated them on the number of registrants at each district office.
“Mr Speaker, I wish to emphasize that the Ghana Card will not be used to vote in 2024. The Ghana Card is only a requirement to register as a voter,” Mrs Mensa stated.