Mrs Jean Mensa, EC chairperson

ELECTORAL COMMISSION PRESS BRIEFING “LET THE CITIZEN KNOW” ON 3RD AUGUST, 2020 PRESENTED BY THE DEPUTY CHAIRMAN, CORPORATE SERVICES

Good morning ladies and gentlemen of the Press. The Commission wishes to express its sincere gratitude for your presence in our quest to communicate with the good citizens of Ghana. This is the seventh edition of LET THE CITIZEN KNOW. This platform provides the Commission the unique opportunity to engage directly with our stakeholders in our effort to deepen transparency, fairness and integrity.  At this point, it is worth appreciating the goodness of the Almighty God who began a great work with us and will surely see to the successful conclusion of the Registration Exercise and all the related activities of the Commission in 2020. We are anticipating that the few days left in the registration exercise will be equally gratifying.

This morning’s briefing will highlight on the following thematic areas:

  • Overview of The Registration Exercise
  • The Guarantor System
  • Foreigners Trying To Register
  • The Challenge Process
  • Total Number of Registered Voters Per Region

Overview of the Registration Exercise

Since our last briefing on Monday, 27th July, 2020, we are pleased to inform all our stakeholders that, the Registration exercise has been smoothly progressing. The Registration teams have been reporting to the centres on time and there are no reports on shortages of critical registration items like the Form 1 A, Form 1 C, Guarantor Forms, among others.

The Commission continues to ensure the safety of its Officials and applicants and in so doing, the COVID-19 safety protocols are strictly being observed at all our centres. The Officials have lived up to expectation and this is justifiable by the information provided by their supervisors and applicants. We are using this medium to encourage our officials to stay the cause and finish the work successfully since all Ghanaians are counting on them for credible register. 

As the registration has entered the homestretch, the Commission will like to reiterate that to qualify to register one must be a Ghanaian, the person must be 18 years and above and of sound mind, she/he must not be prevented by any law from registering to vote, and she/he must be a resident of the electoral area in which he/she wants to register. If applicants meet all the above requirements they qualify to register and vote in the 7th December, 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections. If you don’t qualify to register you have no business going to any of the registration centers to register.

The Commission also wishes to again inform the general public that this registration, just like all new registers compiled by the Commission, is an offline registration. As such those applicants who have registered more than once will be identified through the de-duplication process. Essentially those who have registered more than once will have their names expunged from the register of voters once they are identified as having registered double or multiple.   We are using this medium to inform all those who have already registered not go to the registration centers again to register.

Last week the Commission introduced an Information Technology device known as PanaBios to further strengthen queue management at our registration centers. The steps to access this service have been advertised in the traditional and social media. To access this service, one must dial *769#, and then select option 3 (which is event management). The step is for applicants to choose option 1 where they will check in to event or venue, and the fourth step is where applicants will enter their register center code and wait for a message with the details of a slot in the priority queue at their local registration center. Applicants can also obtain their registration center codes by dialing 311. Applicants with smartphone access can sign up for an account and follow the prompts for registration to book a priority spot just in the way the USSD options works.

Currently, they are being piloted in four districts in Greater Accra metro- Ga North, La Dadekotopon, Adentan, and Tema Metro. The Commission expects to use this solution in future activities as a way of strengthening its safety protocols.

The Guarantor System                                                                                      

Applicants who wish to register but do not have a Passport or Ghana Card can use the Guarantor System. A registered voter can guarantee for at most 10 applicants. According to CI 126 (Regulation 1), guaranteeing for more than 10 applicants is unlawful. Guarantors should therefore desist from such an act.

Also, Guarantors should make sure they know the nationalities of the applicants they are guaranteeing for. In the event those you guarantee for are not qualified guarantors will also be held accountable for perjury.  Do not guarantee for strangers. The details of guarantors are captured in our database so it is important that you know the persons you are guaranteeing for.

Foreigners Trying To Register

Foreigners are prohibited from taking part in the Registration Exercise. We have noticed disturbing reports since last week (phase 5) where Ghanaians who have registered will front for people of other nationalities to register. These are largely concentrated in border towns but there are some in other places too.  It is a crime to guarantee for foreigners to register and vote. Again, if you are a guarantor it is incumbent on you to know the nationalities of the people you are guaranteeing for.  

Foreigners who are caught trying to register will be prosecuted. An example is the Nigerian, who was arrested and sentenced on Wednesday, 29th July, 2020 by the Kaneshie District Court to six months imprisonment with hard labor for attempting to register at the Swag Club House in the Ablekuma West District. The Police are searching for the two guarantors who filled the form to guarantee for him. We understand they are on the run. Nonetheless, their names are with the Police. We will also discuss with our Lawyers to know what actions the Commission can take against the two guarantors.

We also know of five Nigeriens who have made their first appearance at the same court for attempting to register and thus acquire the voters ID card.

Political parties and activists of Political Parties should desist from encouraging foreigners to take part in the registration exercise.  We are equally beseeching our registration officials to ensure that all those they attend to qualify to register under the 1992 Republican Constitution (Article 42) and CI 91(Regulation 1(1a)) . If you are a foreigner stay away from the registration centers.

The Challenge Process

The Challenges system embedded in the registration exercise is a civil process where anyone who qualifies to register as a voter can challenge others who avail themselves to register. The Commission maintains that if you suspect someone is not qualified to register, do not physically or verbally prevent the person from registering. Rather, just get the challenge form at the registration center and challenge the person. The challenge forms are available at all the registration centers. As you may be aware, the District Registration Review Committees have begun their sittings on the Challenged cases all the districts that have challenged cases.  

The exhibition of the register provides another opportunity for the names of applicants who do not qualify to be objected to in the register. This means that anyone who got on the register but did not qualify to be there can have his/her registration objected to during the exhibition exercise.

Total Number of Registered Voters per Region

By the end of the fifth phase on Thursday, 30th July, the Commission had registered a total of 14,380,108 constituting 95.9% of our projected 15 million. These are provisional figures as we have been stressing.

The Commission is likely to exceed this target in the final phase of the registration. We have maintained that registered voters between 14million and 16million should be okay, and it is very probable that we will register around 16million.

 The Greater Accra region leads the pack with 3,129,473 registered voters, followed by Ashanti’s 2,563,285, then Eastern region at 1,366,570 and Central’s 1,324,847. These four regions constitute 55.9% of the total registered voters at the end of the fifth phase. The registered voters for the various regions are listed below:

Region                                   Total R         %

WESTERN                  922,0006.4
WESTERN NORTH                  379,4262.6
CENTRAL              1,330,353  9.3
GREATER ACCRA              3,129,47321.8
VOLTA                  816,0695.7
OTI                  285,4922.0
EASTERN              1,366,5709.5
ASHANTI              2,563,28517.8
BONO                  563,7313.9
AHAFO                  264,8691.8
BONO EAST                  491,5613.4
SAVANNAH                  238,2581.7
NORTHERN                  866,5726.0
NORTH EAST                  236,0581.6
UPPER EAST                  535,1873.7
UPPER WEST                  379,0022.6
TOTAL REGISTERED           14,367,906 

The final phase of the registration started on Saturday in all the districts. Over 700,000 applicants were registered on Saturday. These are the current regional figures inclusive of the first day of the final phase.

Region                                   Total R         %

WESTERN                  974,2936.5
WESTERN NORTH                  406,0622.7
CENTRAL              1,404,0189.3
GREATER ACCRA              3,225,50821.34
VOLTA                  852,2775.7
OTI                  316,4582.1
EASTERN              1,444,2749.6
ASHANTI              2,700,80518.0
BONO                  590,1853.9
AHAFO                  282,3081.9
BONO EAST                  520,2083.5
SAVANNAH251,034                  1.7
NORTHERN                  922,3956.1
NORTH EAST                  253,3391.7
UPPER EAST569,563                   3.8
UPPER WEST                 404,7112.7
TOTAL REGISTERED           15,117,438 

 There are no changes in terms of the positions of the regions; however, we notice that in percentage terms, some regions have increased whilst others have decreased.  With the remaining days for the registration exercise, we expect to see the numbers increasing in the regions where the registrations are taking place in urban centers with a lot of people.  On this final table, the four most populous regions constitute 58% of all registered voters so far.

In Conclusion

The total of 15,043,773 means we have exceeded our target of 15million. We are very grateful to the people of Ghana for their cooperation in reaching this milestone. As we have indicated on several platforms, the Commission is deeply committed to registering all those who are qualified under C1 91 and CI 126 (As Amended). For all those who haven’t registered, the Commission is urging them to go to the registration centers in their electoral areas to register for their voters ID card.