Politics

Every eligible voter will be captured – EC Chair assures

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The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa, has given a firm assurance that no eligible Ghanaian who is desirous of registering to vote in the 2024 general election will be disenfranchised.

She said the commission had put in place the needed measures to ensure that all qualified persons were captured in the poll book.

“We have heard allegations from various quarters that the commission is seeking to disenfranchise eligible voters.

This is false; we have no interest in disenfranchising any eligible person,” Mrs Mensa stressed.

The EC Chairperson told the Daily Graphic that the commission would roll out a continuous registration exercise across the country next year to ensure that all qualified persons were registered.

The EC started a limited voter registration exercise on September 12, seeking to register persons who have turned 18 years after the previous registration exercise.

The 21-day exercise is also an opportunity for persons who have not previously registered with the commission to have their names captured on the voters’ roll.

A section of the public and some political parties raised concerns that the EC was deliberately trying to prevent some eligible persons from participating in the registration exercise.

At the Let the Citizens Know series on Monday, September 18, Mrs Mensa said 182,931 had been registered six days into the exercise.

She stated that the commission had the interest of citizens at heart and would not deny them their constitutional right to exercise their franchise.

“We do not intend to disenfranchise eligible voters.

It is in our interest to register them all,” Mrs Mensa stated.

The EC chairperson stated that against all odds, the commission was able to register 17,027,000 voters in 2020 and would, therefore, not lower the standards.

Touching on concerns raised about the EC’s policy to use its 268 offices for the limited registration exercise, she said the ongoing exercise was only an update of the register.

“It is not a full-blown registration.

It is important to note that this will not be the only registration exercise before the 2024 elections”.

“In line with our plans to promote an inclusive participatory registration process, we plan to institute continuous registration in all our district offices nationwide in 2024 for a considerable length of time,” Mrs Mensa reiterated.

The EC chair added that aside from the continuous registration exercise, the commission would also identify areas that were difficult to access and undertake a mop-up registration exercise in those areas.

“We are confident that with the long-term continuous registration in all our district offices, coupled with the limited mop-up exercise in difficult-to-reach areas in 2024, we will have all eligible voters on board, ahead of the 2024 general election,” she added.

The EC chairperson urged members of the public to help the commission to deal with the phenomenon of ineligible persons infiltrating the registration process.

Mrs Mensa added that even as efforts were made to register all qualified persons, the commission would equally “do everything in our power to ensure that ineligible voters do not get onto the register.”

No minors
She called on persons who were planning to get minors on the register to desist from the act.

“We encourage citizens who observe these illegal practices to challenge them,” Mrs Mensa urged.

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