JoyNews is learning the Electoral Commission (EC) will go ahead with its planned limited voters’ registration in its district offices across the country despite protests from the opposition parties and civil society who have demanded that the process be decentralised to the electoral area level.
According to the opposition parties, any decision to restrict the upcoming voter registration exercise to the EC’s district offices would not achieve its intended purpose.
The flagbearer of the NDC, John Mahama also waded into the conversation calling for the EC to decentralize its processes to ease the burden on eligible voters to register towards the 2024 elections.
“I strongly urge the Electoral Commission to facilitate the registration exercise in all electoral areas to allow for easy access and a reduced burden on the citizenry in their quest to register.”
“I challenge the Commission to be transparent with the processes preceding the start of the limited voter registration exercise, the replacement of voter ID cards, and the transfer of votes,” he said.
The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) also warned that a number of first-time voters could be disenfranchised if the registration process is not brought closer to the people.
The National Coordinator for CODEO, Albert Arhin, said if more centres are not created, things could become ‘chaotic’ and people might not show up at all to register.
“When it comes to the riverine areas and areas difficult to reach like the Dwarf Island in Afram Plains, I don’t think the EC expects voters to take a boat and come to Donkorkrom to do the registration. The tradition has always been that the EC will make sure people who are to do the registration stay there for a week or so to do the registration and return,” he suggested.
However, reacting to these protests, the EC is insistent on going ahead with the limited registration as earlier announced.
JoyNews’ Kweku Asante revealed that the Commission believes the registration being carried out at the district offices is the best option.
“So currently they’re not considering at all the calls to decentralize the process to the electoral area. They believe that that’s a ship that has sailed and that if the political parties and other activists are interested, then they must also do their bid to drive these people out of these communities to their district offices to register,” Kwelu Asante said.
The EC will embark on voters’ registration in all 268 district offices of the Commission. The exercise will be held from September 12 to October 2
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