30,000 Can’t Vote – EC

Jean Mensa

Over 30,000 persons would not be allowed to vote in the December 7 polls, the Electoral Commission (EC) has decreed.

The EC sanction follows electoral infractions the 30,000 persons committed during the recent voter registration exercise.

Those disqualified by the EC would also not be allowed in subsequent registration exercise as part of the sanctions laid down by the elections management body.

The EC action appears to be the most far-reaching punitive action yet by the Commission in response to infringements of the electoral law in the country.

According to the Director of Public Affairs of the EC, Sylvia Annor, the disqualified persons were involved in multiple registrations and others having been challenged through the laid-down procedures at the local level through the various district review committees.

“The names of about 30,000 registered voters have been deleted or expunged from the provisional voters’ register because they are either on the exceptions lists or the multiple lists. The multiple list is made up of names of all those who engaged in double registration during the voter’s registration exercise,” Mrs. Annor made it clear and added that “the exceptions list is made up of registered voters who were found guilty by the district registration review committees at the various district levels.”

She also explained that those on the exceptions list “were challenged probably because they were under 18 years, non Ghanaians, or gave wrong locations. During the registration exercise, we went offline, so we did not detect immediately,” she added.

On election day, the names of the disqualified persons would be posted at the various polling stations so they do not partake in the national exercise.

“The fact that you were able to sail through at the registration centre because the registration officers were not connected to the main system does not mean that you will sail through. They cannot register for some time. The lists will be made available at the polling stations. On election day, there will be the main register, multiple lists, and exception lists. It will be better not to go to the centre if your name is expunged,” Sylvia Annor advised.

During the recent voter registration exercise, assortment of infringements was recorded. The EC following the discoveries and challenges, all of which were subjected to laid-down check processes, decided upon the foregone actions.

Foreigners, most of them from neighbouring countries, are doing time in prison for attempting to register when they were indeed unqualified to do so.

EC Chairperson Jean Mensa has continued to tell Ghanaians that the Commission intends to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

There have been calls for the prosecution of those who have been disqualified because; after all, they have breached the electoral laws of the country which are prosecutable.

By A.R. Gomda