The Electoral Commission (EC) says it is ready to adopt the Ghana card as the only document to prove one’s citizenship in the next voter registration exercise.
EC Director of Electoral Services, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, told me that the Commission had already reached a consensus with the political parties and was waiting for an amendment of the registration laws by Parliament to give legal backing to the move.
He said when the law is amended, persons who did not have the Ghana card would not be able to register to vote because the law would not allow the use of passports or guarantors as substitutes for the Ghana Card.
“We are going to amend the law to incorporate that. What it means is that going forward, for anybody who turns 18 and want to register, you have to come with evidence of the Ghana card to show that you are a Ghanaian and 18 years then we will register the person. You can’t use your passport or guarantors when the law is amended,” he said.
The EC’s last voter registration exercise was conducted in June 2020, ahead of the general elections.
In that registration exercise, the EC accepted the Ghanaian passport and Ghana card as proof of citizenship. Persons who did not have both documents were made to provide two guarantors who had already registered to get registered.
The National Identification Authority, as of October this year, said it had issued cards to about 12 million Ghanaians.
Dr Quaicoo said the EC was still reviewing the 2020 elections and is working closely with the political parties and stakeholders to implement reforms to enhance the country’s electoral management processes.
“Our doors are open for proposals and recommendations and if it is in accordance with the law, we are going to assess it together and if possible, we will add it to our reforms,” he said.
Article 51 of the 1992 Constitution grants the EC the power to, by constitutional instrument, make regulations for the effective performance of its functions, and in particular, for the registration of voters, the conduct of public elections and referenda.
The 2020 voters registration exercise was governed by the Public Elections (Registration of Voters) (Amendment) Regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126), which was passed by Parliament in June 2020.