The Subsidiary Legislation Committee of Parliament has by a majority decision recommended for adoption the Public Elections (Amendment) Regulations, 2020 (CI 126) brought to the House by the Electoral Commission, Ghana (EC) through the Attorney General’s Department.
Reading the Committee’s final report on the floor on Tuesday, June 9, Chairman Dominic Akuritinga Ayine admitted that a consensus was not reached as regards the use of the existing voters’ ID card or driver’s license for registration for the next elections.
According to the report, the EC could not delete all names of persons who registered with the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Cards from the register as directed by the Supreme Court following the Abu Ramadan Vrs EC case in 2016.
The Commission told the Committee, according to Mr Ayine’s report, that it could not do so due to poor record keeping since it cannot tell who registered with an NHIA card or not.
“Therefore, the Commission believes that in order to have a clean register of voters, it is necessary to exclude the use of the existing voter identification cards as a form of proof of identity in the registration process.”
The former Deputy Minister of Justice said his committee by examination of the CI concludes that “the rationale for the Instrument is in accordance with the powers of the Commission under Article 51 with respect to the compilation of a credible and widely accepted voter register for the conduct of public elections and referenda in the country”.
If the report is adopted, the Ghanaian passport and the National Identification Authority (NIA) cards would be the basic documents to prove a person’s citizenship for registration.
Apart from that, enough voter registration identification guarantee forms will also be made available to aid those without the basic documents get two already registered Ghanaians vouch for them.
An assurance, according to Mr Ayine, was given by a Deputy Commissioner, Samuel Tettey, that administrative arrangements will be made to make the forms available.
He said Mr Tettey disclosed when he appeared before the Committee that about 90 per cent of persons who registered during the limited registration in 2019 did so with those forms.