Mrs Jean Mensa, EC chair

The Electoral Commission (EC) has vowed to go after persons who flout the rules and regulations for the upcoming voters’ registration exercise.

The Commission on Thursday, August 17 announced that persons who have turned 18 years since 2021 can now register for the voter’s card.

Speaking at a news conference to announce modalities for the exercise, the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said that one person can guarantee for up to 10 persons.

According to her, the law allows the guarantor to guarantee for only 10 applicants and warned that anyone who goes beyond the required number will be prosecuted.

“All applicants are to show proof of eligibility by tendering any of the following identification documents – the National Identification Card also known as the Ghana Card and the Ghana Passport. Applicants who do not have any of the identification documents listed above are required to present two persons who are already registered voters to vouch for their citizenship and age.

“Per law, a guarantor can guarantee for up to 10 applicants. It is important to emphasize that it is a criminal offense to guarantee for more than 10 applicants and a person who guarantees for more than 10 applicants will be prosecuted,” Madam Mensah said.

The EC Chairperson noted that it is a criminal offence for a guarantor to guarantee for non-citizens and minors, saying the Commission will identify such persons and bring them up for prosecution. She therefore called on media partners to assist in educating Ghanaians on the specific section of the law.

To this end, the EC said it will push through its new Constitutional Instrument (CI) which outlaws the use of the guarantor system.

But the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has maintained that the insistence by the EC to forbid the guarantor system is a stratagem to suppress the voter registration exercise in some parts of the country.

The Deputy General Secretary of the NDC, Mustapha Gbande, said the EC is seeking to disenfranchise voters with a system which is expensive to run.

“So if the numbers go up between 8:00 and 5:00 P.m.. – will the EC provide accommodation for these people? What she’s simply doing is a voter suppression agenda aimed at disenfranchising Ghanaians, … discouraging a lot of people who are desirous, who by law are expected to acquire a voter registration card to vote, deny them from voting. That is what she’s doing,” he stressed.

But, the Director of Research and Elections of the New Patriotic Party, Evans Nimako has disagreed with comments by the NDC.

He explained that “The position of the party has always been that in order that we do not go through the difficulty of reviewing every registration exercise with challenges over minority issues and non-citizens, let us have a more fool proof arrangement – ie, the NIA which guarantees more of credibility.

“Mustafa is mentioning the issue that when you are acquiring the NI (National Identity), there’s even an arrangement that you could use the guarantor system to secure the NI.

“The procedure of using the guarantor system under NI is not the same as applied by the EC so you shouldn’t compare the oranges and apples arrangements,” he stated.