The Electoral Commission (EC) says it has been assured by the National Identification Authority (NIA) that the Ghana Card will be made accessible to all before the commission begins its continuous voter registration, early next year.
The commission in a Constitutional Instrument (C.I) laid before Parliament has proposed the use of the Ghana Card as the sole identification document for the upcoming registration exercise.
This decision by the EC has brought to the fore concerns by some stakeholders in the electoral process that making the Ghana Card the only form of identification for the registration exercise would lead to the disenfranchisement of many eligible voters.
Notable among the stakeholders that have raised concerns about the use of the Ghana Card is the main opposition National Democratic Congress.
However, responding to the issue in an interview with the Daily Graphic, the Director of Electoral Services at the EC, Dr Serebour Quaicoe, said the commission was in touch with the NIA and the latter had given an assurance that the challenges associated with the issuance of the Ghana Card would be a thing of the past by the end of the year.
“The NIA has given us all the assurances that now that they have rolled out 291 registration centres, we are also going to roll out 267 registration centres. This means that the people will have access to the Ghana Card to enable them to get their names onto the register,” he said.
He explained that the decision by the EC for the Ghana Card to be used as the sole form of identification was because the exercise would be on until October 7, 2024, and by that time, all eligible voters might have had their Ghana Card to enable them to get their names onto the voters roll.
Dr Quaicoe gave an assurance that there was enough time for all Ghanaians to access the Ghana Card in the next two years during which time the exercise would be on from January 2023 to October 7, 2024 and, therefore, no eligible voter would be left out.
“All the challenges will be rectified. They will get the Ghana Card; they will come to our offices to register. Let’s throw this challenge; we have more than two years, and let’s give ourselves the end of 2023. If genuinely there are people who are not getting the card, then we can now put forth that argument that people will be disenfranchised as it is being suggested,” he said.
He said the EC had targeted to register 1.8 million eligible voters for the duration of the exercise.
Responding to concerns raised by the Member of Parliament for Ningo-Prampram , Sam George, that the EC was adamant to the concerns raised by stakeholders to use only the Ghana Card for the voter registration exercise, Dr Quaicoe said with the assurance given by the NIA, nobody would be disenfranchised.