A former Director-General of the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) has charged the Electoral Commission (EC) to engage the National Identification Authority (NIA) if it wants to use the Ghana Card as the sole document for elections.

According to Ernest Thompson, this will ensure that millions of prospective voters are not disenfranchised and the integrity of the voters’ register is not compromised.

“The EC must work closely with the NIA moving forward. This is because the EC is not only interested in us voting, but it should also be interested in not disenfranchising people.

“It should be interested in the register because it will not only be for today, it might be for other elections so they need to work together,” he indicated on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Monday.

Mr. Thompson also tasked the NIA to ensure that registrants get their card.

In his view, nothing is achieved if citizens register and do not get their cards.

“For the NIA, I think they need more assistance because, at the end of the day, when it comes to biometric registration, you haven’t done much if you only register and you print a card and the registrant hasn’t got his or her card. So we should concentrate and help them to ensure that cards get to the registrants,” he noted.

In July, the EC placed before Parliament a draft C.I titled: Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations, 2021, which is expected to regulate continuous voter registration.

Per the new C.I, the EC is seeking to make the Ghana Card the sole form of identification for eligible voters who want to get onto the electoral roll.

The C.I has been referred to the Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament. By convention, the committee is chaired by a member of the Minority group.

However, even before the EC laid the new C.I before Parliament, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) accused the EC of planning to compile a new voters register for the 2024 general election, with the Ghana Card as the only source document.

The Minority Leader in Parliament, Haruna Iddrisu, said any move by the EC to compile a new voters register with the Ghana Card solely as the mode of identification would not bode well for the country, especially when the EC had already expended huge sums of money to compile a new register which was used for the 2020 general election.

The EC debunked the assertion by the NDC and said the new C.I was only meant to regulate continuous registration, with the Ghana Card as the source document.

“We are not compiling a new voters register. The one we compiled in 2020 is a credible one, a very good register so we are not dispensing with it,” the Director of Electoral Services of the EC, Dr. Serebour Quaicoe, told the media.

Meanwhile, in Parliament, the new C.I laid by the EC caused heated debates, with the Minority calling for the EC to come and explain the rationale for the use of the Ghana Card as the only source document.

At Parliament’s sitting on July 21, the First Deputy Minority Chief Whip, Ibrahim Ahmed, said it was necessary for the EC to brief the House on the new C.I. to erase any “controversial issue of mistrust.”

On his part, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, rejected the call by the Minority, describing it as premature, adding that the next general election is not yet due.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) in charge of Corporate Services, has clarified that without a Ghana Card, one will not be registered to vote.

Dr. Bossman Asare speaking in an interview on JoyNews’ The Pulse on Wednesday said this is because the Ghana Card has made an impact in our society with almost 17 million Ghanaians registered for it.