Eligible voters will now be able to register all year round, this is part of proposals approved by the Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) at the just-ended review workshop on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.
The workshop was to give the political parties in the country and the Electoral Commission (EC) the opportunity to review the 2020 polls and come up with ways to reform Ghana’s elections.
Currently, the EC sets different dates to conduct voter registration exercises.
In a communiqué issued after the workshop, IPAC said the stakeholders agreed that the Electoral Commission should no longer compile voters register from scratch as part of preliminary preparations for the conduct of presidential and parliamentary polls.
“Implement the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise to enable citizens who turned 18 years and those who had not previously registered to do so”.
To this end, a committee will deliberately be set up for the implementation of modalities for continuous voter registration.
The continuous voter registration according to IPAC would be implemented with proof of citizenship being limited to the use of Ghana card and Ghana passport since the guarantor system is often abused.
In all, IPAC approved 16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections.
Some civil society organizations, including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), have, in the past, recommended the proposal adding that there needs to be an integrated system that will automatically identify 18-year-olds who qualify to register.
Other agreed proposals
1. Introduce an all-year-round Voter Exhibition Exercise through the use of technology (SMS shortcode). Additionally, maintain the periodic mass verification at Exhibition Centres.
2. Put in place a cut-off time for the Continuous Voter Register Exhibition to allow for the compilation of the Register for voting on Election Day.
Filing of Nominations
1. The Five (5) day period for filing of Nominations introduced in 2020 should be maintained.
2. The period set aside to enable the Political Parties to obtain signatures from their supporters should be increased.
3. The period for the Election Campaign should be defined. It should commence after the nominations are filed.
4. Encourage nominations of female and persons with disabilities (PWDs) candidates by reducing their filing fees by 50%.
1. Current arrangement whereby the Media, Security Services and Election Officials are allowed to apply and vote under the Special Voting period should be maintained until such time that the process is fully entrenched.
Elections 1. The polls should end at 3:00 pm instead of at 5:00 pm.
2. Certified Regional Collated Results should be announced by the Chairperson to reduce tension and suspicion. However, the Commission should state clearly the percentage of results yet to be released, etc.
Security 1. Security around elections is the responsibility of the Ghana Police Service. 2. Ghana Police Service should arrange a periodic platform to engage IPAC and other Stakeholders,
3. Ghana Police Service should provide updates on the 2020 Elections malpractices and violence.
4. Political Parties and the Media must show commitment to the democratic process and be mindful of their comments, as some of their statements have the tendency to provoke violence and inflame tensions and suspicions.