EC: Registered voter can guarantee for 5; but Minority says no

The Minority in Parliament say a new voter registration proposal that will allow a registered voter to guarantee for five people who cannot prove their citizenship is a recipe for chaos.

The Vice-Chairman of the Subsidiary Legislation Committee, Kofi Osei Ameyaw revealed the Minority is incensed at C1 72 currently being scrutinized by the Parliamentary sub-committee.

The Electoral Commission is preparing to roll out a limited registration exercise in March for those who have turned 18 years, the legal voting age or who do not have their names in the electoral roll.

In the absence of a National Identification System, proof of citizenship in Ghana is limited to Driver’s License, passport or birth certificate.

It is believed many Ghanaians do not have these certificates as proof of citizenship.

Under the new regulation proposed by the Electoral Commission, a registered voter has to fill a form to guarantee for up to five others whose citizenship is difficult to determine.

Kofi Osei Ameyaw criticized the proposal by the EC to resolve the identity problem as too ‘expansionist’. He said it will worsen fears of the Minority that foreign nationals from countries like Togo are on Ghana’s register.

In the new proposal the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says mischief-minded registered voters can help push non-Ghanaians and minors on the electoral roll.

“Why should we sell our sovereignty? Why should we allow foreigners to come in for electioneering expediency?” Osei Ameyaw said.

According to Osei Ameyaw, even the registered voter filling paper forms to guarantee for others is a weak security feature. He said the identity of the registered voter cannot be traced if all the voter has to do is to put his finger prints on paper.

Finger prints on paper cannot be verified biometrically, he pointed out.

The Minority are also against regulations demanding that political parties provide the names of their agents seven clear days before the election D-Day.

Osei Ameyaw said party agents may be bought off or compromised by the rival parties if their identities are made public.

He said the identities of party agents are part of a political party’s strategy for winning the elections and therefore cannot be revealed too early.


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