Limited voter registration: EC not disenfranchising eligible voters – Jean Mensa

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa has debunked claims that the Commission is disenfranchising eligible voters.

At a press conference, she said claims of disenfranchisement as a result of registering at the District offices are not true.

“We have heard of allegations from the various quarters that the Commission is disenfranchising eligible voters. This is false,” she said.

This comes in response to concerns voiced by some members of the public regarding the decision by the EC to conduct registration at its district offices.

But Madam Mensa noted that it is not in the interest of the Commission to disenfranchise any eligible voter.

According to her, the EC is working around the clock to ensure that every eligible voter registers with ease.

“In fact, we take pride in the fact that we have the second-highest number of registered voters in the whole of Africa with the exception of Cape Verde which has a national population of just about 600,000 and a voting population of 55.33 per cent,” she added.

She further stated that “Per the 2021 census figures, Ghana boasts of a register that captures 55 per cent of the national population that is 17, 27, 000 persons out of a national population of 31 million.

“As a commission, we pride ourselves that our voter registration population meets international best practices for the registration of voters.”

Addressing concerns about using its 268 district offices, she said that the current exercise is an update of the register which is to allow persons who have attained 18 years and above to register since 2020, as well as others who were not able to register to do so and vote, adding that it is not a full-blown exercise.

She added that the current exercise will not be the only registration before the 2024 election.

She noted that “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.”

Madam Mensa said the Commission will identify difficult-to-access areas and undertake a mop-up exercise in those areas.

She explained that although not in the Commission’s interest for eligible voters to be disenfranchised, the present circumstance makes it impossible to conduct the registration on an electoral basis.

According to her, if the C. I before Parliament is passed, “We would have had some six months this year to register voters at any time of their choice in our district offices throughout the country.”

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