A former Chairperson for the Electoral Commission has advised the outfit against using the national identification card, popularly known as, Ghana Card as the sole requirement for voting in the 2024 election.
According to Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, millions of qualified electorates will be disenfranchised by the decision.
In an interview with Graphic Online, he said many Ghanaians are finding it difficult to get their Ghana Cards, thus, making it the only form of identification for voter registration against electoral inclusivity, fairness and justice.
“Ghanaian citizens don’t lose their citizenship if they are 18 years or older but do not have the Ghana Card.
“So, the moot question is: why to make the Ghana Card the only means of identification for purposes of establishing eligibility to register to vote,” he queried.
Dr Afari-Gyan was sharing his thoughts in a statement made available to Graphic Online on a new Constitutional Instrument (C.I.) on voter registration which has been laid before Parliament by the EC.
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 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 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.”
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.