New register: Use of guarantors lesser of two evils –  EC

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The Electoral Commission (EC) concedes using guarantors to get one onto the new voter’s register is burdensome, but suggests the alternative could be disastrous.

Allaying the fears of many, the Chairperson of the Commission, Jean Mensa told a press conference in Accra, Monday, the use of guarantors is not a new phenomenon.

“We understand, it may seem like a burden having to find two registered persons to vouch for one’s identity as a Ghanaian, and yet it seems to us the lesser of two evils,” she asserted.

Barring any unforeseen circumstance, the Electoral Commission will start a month-long exercise to compile a new voter’s register on June 30, starting from selected polling centres across the country ahead of the December polls.

Eligible voters are to register using the passport or Ghana card or two guarantors to provide proof of citizenship.

Critics have advanced various arguments suggesting among others the cumbersome nature of getting guarantors as well as the potential of guarantors to make money from rendering such service.

Also admitting that getting two guarantors to confirm one’s nationality “may take time”, Jean Mensa pointed out that it will ensure that only Ghanaians who are 18 years and above are registered.

Some have also argued that the decision by the EC, through the Constitutional Instrument 126 (CI 126), not to accept the old voter’s ID cards would disenfranchise many people.

But the chairperson who said the EC is mindful of the significance of the exercise, maintained “our rational for compiling a new register is not to disenfranchise any eligible voter”.

Assuring that no eligible voter would be left behind, she was emphatic the exercise will be carried out without fear or favour to ensure that “only the will of the people stand”.

She therefore urged all Ghanaians to support the EC in carrying out the exercise, noting that the participation of the citizens “is critical to maintaining the integrity of the register”.

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission’s boss has assured Ghanaians that EC is ready for the registration exercise, noting that the machines to be used have been “tested” and are “robust” for a smooth process.

Source: | Ghana


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