Election 2008: The Regulations
The regulations for elections in Ghana provide for the preparation of other relevant lists in addition to the voters register for use at the polling stations. These are the Proxy Voters list, Transferred Voters list, Special Voters list, Election Officials list, and Absent Voters list.
A registered voter may appoint somebody (proxy) to vote on his/her behalf by applying to the Electoral Commission for, completing, and returning a form designed for that purpose by the Electoral Commission.
This facility is available to voters who can show proof that they will be absent from the country on Election Day or that they cannot go to the polling station to vote on Election Day either because of illness or because of official duties.
A voter who has appointed a proxy cannot vote by himself or herself unless he/she cancels the proxy by completing and submitting to the Commission an appropriate form within a stipulated time, in which case the proxy cannot vote, whether or not he or she is made aware of the cancellation.
A voter registered in a constituency, but who had been a resident in another constituency for two (2) months or more before an election might apply to the Returning Officer of the constituency within which he/she is residing for his/her name to be entered on the transferred Voters List, so that he/she could vote in his/her new constituency on polling day.
In accordance with the regulations, a voter is not allowed to apply for a tranfer unless the application is submitted not less than twenty-one (21) days before the date set for the election.
An application for a transfer must be made in person and no person may apply for a transfer for another. Transfer of vote can also be done for the purpose of contesting an election, where an aspiring candidate is permitted by the election regulation to transfer his/her vote to where he/she intended to contest not less twenty-one (21) days to the last day of nomination.
The transfer list which was supplementary to the main voters register was prepared by the Returning Officers under the supervision of the District Electoral Officers as part of the effort at maintaining the intergrity of the voters register and to give all prospective voters the opportunity to participate in the voting on the polling day.
Security Officers, Election Officials and other persons who because of the nature of their duties on polling day would not be able to vote at the polling stations where they were registered were put on special voter lists.
Names of persons who applied for the transfer of their votes or for special voting are put on absent voters list for the polling stations where they were originally registered and would have voted. Such persons shall not be entitled to vote on the polling day at the stations where their names have been put on absent voters list.
The Commission maintains two principles for the use of voters registers as a management tool in the conduct of elections.
* Where you register is where you vote.
* Your name on the register qualifies you to vote.
The combined effect of these two principles is the introduction of some rigidity into the use of the voters register. With the use of the lists however this rigidity is considerably reduced.
The Proxy Voters list, the Transferred voters list, the Special voters lists and the Election Officials list make it possible for voters to vote at polling stations where they originally could not have voted because those were not the places they were registered and therefore they do not have their names on the main registers.
The Absent Voters list which is made up of names and particulars of voters who are on the transferred voters, special voters and election officials lists has the effect of putting a check on double voting at an election.