The Electoral Commission has said the guarantor system by which eligible voters can register, is the “lesser of two evils”, as the election management body starts its registration exercise from today, Tuesday, June 30.
An eligible voter without any of the two primary breeder documents – passport or Ghana cars – can let two eligible voters who have already registered, vouch for them.
“We understand that it may seem like a burden having to find two registered persons to vouch for one’s identity as a Ghanaian and yet it seems to be the lesser of two evils”, Mrs Mensa told journalists at a press conference on the eve of the commencement of the registration.
“Although it may take a little more of your time and that of your guarantors, it will ensure that only persons who are guarantors and are 18 years old are enlisted on the voter register,” she said.
“This system has been with us since the beginning of our democracy, as the framers of the law anticipated situations in which Ghanaian citizens, for legitimate and unavoidable reasons, may be unable to prove or provide documentation to prove their citizenship.”
Mrs Mensa said in 2014, 928,540 persons representing 82.2 per cent were registered by the EC through the guarantor system.
In 2016, 1,046,067 were registered of which 92.5 per cent used guarantors.
In the continuous registration in 2016, 37,929 persons were registered and of this number 93.1 per cent used guarantors, she added.
For the referendum in 2018, 47,852 persons were registered by the EC of which 99.5 percent used guarantors.
During the limited registration in 2019, 1,211,395 persons were captured by the EC of which 95.2 per cent used guarantors.
“My predecessors have applied this system in the past, as they have sought to ensure that no one is disenfranchised for valid reasons beyond their control,” Mrs Mensa assured.
She nonetheless said she expects the Ghana card registration to “become routine at the national, regional and district levels.”
“I hope and pray that the 2020 election should be the last time that we, as a country, would need the guarantor system. Come 2020, all citizens should be issued with the National Identification Card.”