By: News Desk | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Some residents in the Ketu South municipality have called on the Electoral Commission to back down on its decision not to accept the existing Voter Identity card as a primary requirement for the new Voter registration exercise slated for the later part of June.
According to them, the EC’s stance to stick to Passport and Ghana Card as the only documents during the mass registration exercise ahead of the general elections in December this year, would disenfranchise many of them without such document.
Mr. Dan Jerry Sorokpo, a teacher told Volta Online sticking to these two national documents would mean majority of people might not get captured on the new voter’s roll to exercise their franchise in the upcoming elections.
He noted that, just a small fraction of people at Agbodokope, a salt mining community in the Nyekornakpoe Electoral Area, successfully registered and acquired the Card.
“My village has a population of 1,057 people but only 53 people representing about 0.5 per cent acquired the Ghana Card. The rest didn’t have birth certificate, driving license or passport required of eligible applicants. This has nothing to with their citizenship but they just lack the resources to acquire a birth certificate let alone a passport. And so, though they hold National Health Insurance and Voter’s ID cards, they couldn’t register.”
Mr Sorokpo therefore warned the EC against deliberately or mistakenly disenfranchising the people saying, the entire village would resist any such attempt to infringe on their rights by dragging the EC to court.
Assembly member for Nyekornakpoe Electoral Area, Prosper Atoklo said the issue of the Ghana Card registration went beyond just holding the required documents to include enough time and technical challenges saying, the whole exercise in the area was fraught with challenges.
“At almost every community in my electoral area, people were in queues for days but couldn’t register for the Card. If it’s not a problem with document, it’s with the machine or something else. People went to the centres with guarantors for days yet couldn’t get the Card. Even my wife and children couldn’t register. If we’re using that Card for the new register, people must be allowed to vouch for others unless the aim is to disenfranchise people.”
The electoral body has also stood it grounds despite calls from civil society groups, policy think tanks, and political parties against the intended compilation of new voter’s roll, describing it as unnecessary especially in the wake of COVID-19 and the restrictions it occasioned such as ban on public gatherings.