EC registers 910,996 new voters; 61.9 per cent used guarantor system

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The Electoral Commission (EC) registered 910,996 new voters in the just-ended voter registration exercise, with majority of applicants (61.9 per cent) using the guarantor system.

The Limited Voter Registration Exercise was held at all the 268 District Offices of the Commission from Tuesday, September 12, 2023, to October 2, 2023, ahead of the upcoming District Level Elections.

The EC had projected registering 700,000 new applicants out of a projected 1.35 million, who were estimated to have turned 18 years since the last voter registration exercise in 2020.

Addressing a press conference in Accra on Tuesday, Mr Samuel Tettey, Deputy EC Chair in Charge of Operations, said the Commission was “very much satisfied” with the outcome of the exercise.

“We projected registering 700, 000 voters but we exceeded our target and registered 910,996 voters,” he said and attributed the success to the measures adopted by the EC to resolve the challenges that emerged at the initial stages.

Regional Breakdown

The Ashanti Region recorded the highest number of registered voters, with 148, 294, followed by the Greater Accra Region, which recorded 124, 166 voters..

The rest are: Western; 55,886; Western North, 31, 483; Central: 85, 152; Volta, 55,557; Oti 36, 481; Eastern, 92, 780; Bono 31, 932; Ahafo, 22, 203; Bono East 39,804; Savannah, 21, 754; Northern 66, 510; North East 24, 667; Upper East: 43, 641, and Upper West 20, 656.

Tettey said out of 910, 996 new voters, 61.9 per cent of the applicants used the guarantor system whiles 37.8 per cent used Ghana Card, and 0.3 per cent used the passport.

He said the Commission recorded 9,720 challenged cases, and served notice that individuals, who guaranteed for more than 10 applicants contrary to the registration law would be prosecuted.

“We have data on applicants, who guaranteed for more than 10 applicants against the law. We will submit the details to the Attorney General for advice,” he said.

Tettey said under the voter transfer window, some 105,863 registered voters applied to transfer their votes.

The EC’s decision to hold the registration only at its district offices sparked outrage over fears that eligible voters in distant locations could encounter difficulties and may not be able to register.

The registration exercise started slowly at the early stages due to internet connectivity challenges, leading to crowding of the registration centres.

Tettey said the issue of internet connectivity challenges, which was encountered on the first day, was resolved “swiftly”.

“Ninety per cent of applicants registered online whiles only 10 per cent registered offline,” he said..

Tettey said the EC remained in favour of phasing out the guarantor system in the country’s registration process, saying the current system “is fraught with abuse”.

“If we are committed to strengthening our electoral system, the guarantor system should be abolished sooner or later,” he said.

He appealed to the Government to release adequate resources to the National Identification Authority to enable it to deliver cards to applicants quickly.

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