We’re trying to protect the sanctity of the voters’ register – EC justifies limited voter registration exercise

Deputy Electoral Commissioner, Dr. Serebuor Quaicoe, says the Electoral Commission as part of its mandate is concerned with protecting the sanctity of the voters’ register.

According to him, those calling for the extension of the limited voters’ registration from the district offices to the electoral areas are only concerned about increasing the number of new registrants and not the sanctity of the register.

He said the district offices are more equipped at ensuring a clean register.

“For the media and the CSOs, your attention is register them, register them, register them, that is the focus of the media and the CSOs. And probably that may be the reason why maybe you’re quoting my chair, at that time she was a CSO. But when you come into the kitchen that is where you see that your responsibility changes.

“The thinking of the Commission is that it is to register people and also to protect the sanctity of the register. That is very, very important that nobody is talking about. You’re going to compile voters’ register that would be used to determine who leads Ghana in all fronts. What goes into the register should be something that should not bring about issues,” he said.

The Electoral Commission has faced serious backlash from political parties, civil society organisations and the general public for its insistence on carrying out the limited voters’ registration in the district offices only.

According to those opposing the EC’s actions, the inaccessibility of the district offices and the cost of transportation among others are some reasons why the exercise must be further decentralized to the electoral areas.

But Dr. Serebuor Quaicoe says the ongoing district registrations are geared towards the upcoming district level elections.

He explained that while the ongoing registration will be limited to the district offices, next year, the commission will roll out another registration exercise that will be held in the electoral areas.

He said, “we are revising the register to give those who have turned 18 years who want to take part in the district level election to get the opportunity to register  so that next year we can now go out fully with the continuous voters register.”