Ghana: Electoral Commission faces resistance over new voter registration requirement

By Jonas Nyabor

Posted on Tuesday, 14 March 2023 16:27
The Ghana Electoral Commission proposal of using the Ghana Card to get a voter ID is being fiercely resisted by opposition MPs and some members of civil society. (National Identification Authority)

Ahead of Ghana's crucial general elections in 2024, the electoral commission is proposing a constitutional change that will make a controversial national identity card the sole document for confirming one’s nationality and age to register as a voter. However, this move is being strongly opposed over fears that many citizens will be disenfranchised.

Citizens without the Ghana Card will not be eligible for a voter ID card according to the proposal introduced to parliament by the election management body.

The commission says it will no longer rely on an age-old guarantor system where a registered voter could vouch for the citizenship and age of a prospective voter.

“The challenges with the guarantor system are two-fold: it opens the door for registered voters or guarantor contractors to guarantee and vouch for persons who are less than 18 years. Secondly, it allows the guarantors to vouch for persons who are not citizens. Such unqualified persons use the guarantor system door to try to get onto the register,” EC chairperson Jean Mensa told parliament at the end of February.