EC to implement continuous voter registration

Barring any last minute changes, voter registration exercises for future elections in the country, will now be conducted all-year-round, according to the Electoral Commission.

EC to implement continuous voter registration

Barring any last minute changes, voter registration exercises for future elections in the country, will now be conducted all-year-round, according to the Electoral Commission.

This is part of proposals by the electoral management body to reform the conduct of elections in Ghana.

At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC), review workshop on the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections, the EC said it will no longer compile voters register from scratch as part of preliminary preparations for the conduct of presidential and parliamentary polls.

“Implement the Continuous Voter Registration Exercise to enable citizens who turned 18 years and those who had not previously registered to do so”, the EC proposed.

To this end, a committee will deliberately be set up for the implementation of modalities for continuous voter registration.

The continuous voter registration according to the EC, would be implemented with proof of citizenship being limited to the use of Ghana card and Ghana passport since the guarantor system is often abused.

In all, the Commission reached 16 resolutions aimed at improving subsequent elections.

Some civil society organizations including the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), have in the past recommended the proposal, arguing that there needs to be an integrated system that will automatically identify 18-year-olds who qualify to register.

Other agreed proposals

Exhibition

1. Introduce an all-year-round Voter Exhibition Exercise through the use of technology (SMS shortcode). Additionally, maintain the periodic mass verification at Exhibition Centres.

2. Put in place a cut-off time for the Continuous Voter Register Exhibition to allow for the compilation of the Register for voting on Election Day.

Filing of Nominations

1. The Five (5) day period for filing of Nominations introduced in 2020 should be maintained.

2. The period set aside to enable the Political Parties to obtain signatures from their supporters should be increased.

3. The period for the Election Campaign should be defined. It should commence after the nominations are filed.

4. Encourage nominations of female and persons with disabilities (PWDs) candidates by reducing their filing fees by 50%.

Special Voting

1. Current arrangement whereby the Media, Security Services and Election Officials are allowed to apply and vote under the Special Voting period should be maintained until such time that the process is fully entrenched.
Elections 1. The polls should end at 3:00 pm instead of at 5:00 pm.

2. Certified Regional Collated Results should be announced by the Chairperson to reduce tension and suspicion. However, the Commission should state clearly the percentage of results yet to be released, etc.
Security 1. Security around elections is the responsibility of the Ghana Police Service. 2. Ghana Police Service should arrange a periodic platform to engage IPAC and other Stakeholders,

3. Ghana Police Service should provide updates on the 2020 Elections malpractices and violence.

4. Political Parties and the Media must show commitment to the democratic process and be mindful of their comments, as some of their statements have the tendency to provoke violence and inflame tensions and suspicions.