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You must not make Ghanacard the sole identifier for voter registration — Omane Boamah to EC

Elections You must not make Ghanacard the sole identifier for voter registration — Omane Boamah to EC
MAR 1, 2024 LISTEN

Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah, Director of Elections and IT for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has urged the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) not to make the Ghana Card the sole identifier for the upcoming limited voter registration ahead of 2024 general elections.

In an open letter to the EC dated March 1, 2024, Dr. Omane Boamah warned that relying solely on the Ghana Card for voter identification could potentially disenfranchise many eligible voters.

"The Commission must not make the Ghanacard the sole identifier for voter registration in 2024 because well over 60% of registrants used the Guarantor System to register just a year ago in 2023. This shows Ghanacards and passports are still not available to many Ghanaians," Dr. Boamah wrote.

He cited statistics which show that over 60% of registrants in the last limited registration exercise in 2023 used guarantors to verify their identities.

This, to Dr. Omane Boamah, suggest that many Ghanaians still do not have access to the Ghana Card or a valid passport.

He urged the EC to consider alternative means of identification such as the guarantor system, to allow for maximum participation in the upcoming limited registration period ahead of the December polls.

Dr. Boamah further called on the EC to publish its calendar of activities for the 2024 elections without further delay, and address other pertinent issues including discrepancies in the voter register, planned reforms, creation of new polling stations and ensuring SALL constituency votes.

Read the full write-up below:
March 01, 2024
Dear Mrs Jean Mensah,
The Electoral Commission has More Work To Do!

Happy new month (March 2024)!
And special greetings from the NDC Elections and IT Directorate.

In this open letter, I deploy definite statements and questions to draw the attention of Ghanaians, the Electoral Commission itself, the Inter- Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) and all stakeholders including development partners to the immutable truth that, the EC is behind schedule regarding preparations towards elections 2024.

I wish to remind the Electoral Commission that the calendar of activities to guide the December 07 presidential and parliamentary elections this year is still not available to political parties and major stakeholders.

Quite disappointing!
Why has the EC not published the calendar of activities (Timetable) to guide our programmes?

Note that there are many issues to be addressed ahead of the December 07 elections, such as:

• Addressing major discrepancies in the Voters’ Register.

• When the Commission intends to conduct the Limited Voters Registration Exercise to register new voters.

• The projected (nationally & regionally) registrable voter population for the 2024 Limited Registration Exercise.

• How the Limited Voters Registration Exercise will be conducted – Is it going to be electoral area-based or district office-based as it happened in 2023? (District office-based registration should not be repeated as it leads to voter suppression).

• What is the state of the EC’s Data Center and Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and Biometric Verification Devices (BVDs)? Are we going to experience the avoidable and frequent breakdown of the devices as occurred during the 2023 Limited registration exercise?

• Does the EC intend to procure additional BVR Kits and BVDs?

• Does the Commission intend to introduce new laws (Constitutional Instruments) or administrative and other operational reforms for Election 2024?

• If yes, what are those laws and reforms?

• How does the Electoral Commission intend to comply with the ECOWAS Protocol on Good Governance and Democracy, that directs Election Management Bodies (EMBs) of ECOWAS Member States not to introduce major laws or reforms six (6) months prior to General Elections… Today is March, 2024, with eight (8) clear months to December 2024.

Madam Jean Mensah, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, in this friendly conversation in the interest of Ghana's democracy, I further wish to advise the Electoral Commission as follows:

• The Commission must not make the Ghanacard the sole identifier for voter registration in 2024 because well over 60% of registrants used the Guarantor System to register just a year ago in 2023. This shows Ghanacard and passports are still not available to many a Ghanaian.

Finally, let me ask:
• Will the Commission create additional polling stations for Election 2024?

• If yes, how many polling stations does the Commission intend to create and what is the operational and demographic basis for creating those additional polling stations?

Furthermore, is the Commission genuinely committed to the people of Santrokofi, Akpalu, Likpe and Lolobi (SALL) voting on December 07, 2024 as a Constituency? This cannot be compromised!

Time is limited...
Therefore, the Electoral Commission must immediately sit up and release the calendar of activities (Timetable) to guide the December 07, 2024 elections.

Thank you.
Dr. Edward Kofi Omane Boamah
Director of Elections and IT, NDC &
Medical Doctor and Health Policy Planning and Financing Analyst.

Isaac Donkor Distinguished
Isaac Donkor Distinguished

News ReporterPage: IsaacDonkorDistinguished

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