The Electoral Commission has urged persons who are charging fees as guarantors in the procurement of voter registration cards to desist from such practice.
The activities of such persons according to the Commission are illegal and must not be tolerated.
Speaking at its Let the Citizen Know forum on Monday, Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Jean Mensa, said eligible persons who do not have the requisite proof of identity have other options open to them.
“The guarantor system has been been in our laws to ensure that, eligible citizens who do not have a form of documentation are not left out of processes such as the voter registration exercise. As such, a person who does not have the requisite documentation to prove their eligibility has the window of physically presenting two guarantors to vouch for them. The Commission is picking up information to the effect that, a number of individuals in our society are offering their services as guarantors for a fee. This is illegal and we call on the security agencies present at our registration centres to arrest such persons.”
“We emphasize again that guarantors must know the person they guarantee for; therefore it is illegal to offer your services to guaranteeing for persons they do not know. We are encouraging our security agencies to pick up such persons at the registration centres. We have also informed our registration officials to be on high alert to prevent this from happening going forward”, she added.
The Public Election (Amendment) regulation, 2020 (C.I. 126) amended C.I 91 changed the current identification requirements for registering to vote.
Aside from the National Identification Card (Ghana Card) or the Ghana passport being acceptable documents for registering onto the voters’ register, two persons who have already been captured on the new register can vouch for others to register.
Critics have noted that the exclusion of the existing voter ID and birth certificates could lead to some citizens being disenfranchised.
Despite these concerns, the popularity of the guarantor system should mitigate these fears, Mrs. Mensa noted.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission says it is impressed by the high turnout of persons with disabilities and first-time voters at the ongoing mass voter registration exercise.
According to the Commission, over 46 thousand persons with disabilities have registered in all four phases of the exercise. While a little over 52% of the total registered are women, 47% are men, and close to 8% are 18 and 19-year-olds.
As of Friday, July 24, 2020, the Commission had registered over 11.6 million voters with the Greater Accra Region recording the highest number of registered voters.