The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) will today, Tuesday, June 30, 2020, begin a nationwide voter registration exercise towards the compilation of a new electoral roll for the December presidential and parliamentary elections.
The exercise will be held at 6,788 clusters made up of five registration centres each across the country.
This covers 33,367 registration centres situated within the country.
It will be conducted in five phases, each phase spanning six days with additional days for mop-up.
Statistics from the election management body show that over 44,000 staff and over 5,000 technicians have been recruited, trained, and deployed while 8,000 biometric registration kits tried, tested and deployed.
On average, an applicant is expected to be registered and issued a Voter ID Card within 10 minutes.
As affirmed by the Supreme Court in last Thursday’s decision in the case of NDC, Mark Takyi-Banson and the Electoral Commission, a prospective applicant must present either a Ghanaian Passport or a National Identity Card issued by the National Identification Authority (commonly called Ghana Card) or two guarantors who must themselves have been registered under the new system.
This is in line with the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2020 as amended (CI 126).
A guarantor can vouch for up to ten prospective applicants.
EC Chair, Jean Mensah at a press briefing Monday night described the guarantor system as “the lesser of two evils” in relation to public concerns raised against the system.
The Electoral Commission says 7,000 health assistants have also been released by the Ghana Health Service to help ensure that the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols are adhered to at the various clusters.
The Commission maintains it will observe a strict, mandatory hand washing and nose mask guidelines, deploy thermometer guns for first-hand screening of applicants, provide hand sanitizers for use as well as maintaining a strict one-meter physical distance between applicants.
Registration centres, the Commission says, will be set up in open fields using the Commission’s own furniture and fittings. These are to be wiped intermittently with alcohol wipes.
Aged and Vulnerable
According to the EC, special arrangements have been made for “persons with disabilities, pregnant women and nursing, the aged, that is persons 60 years and above as well as the sick, will be given priority at all registration centres”.
Such persons can walk into the District Offices of the Electoral Commission to be registered from Thursday, July 2, 2020.
Meanwhile, Citi News understands that the Electoral Commission will hold a crucial meeting on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, to consider modalities for the registration of eligible Ghanaian voters resident abroad.