The Convention People’s Party (CPP) has appealed to the Electoral Commission not to prosecute individuals who guaranteed for more than 10 applicants in the just-ended Limited Voter Registration exercise.
The party said prosecuting the abusers of the guarantor system “is a waste of time” and faulted the Commission for failing to upgrade its systems to make it impossible for an individual to guarantee for more than 10 applicants at the point of registration.
Addressing a press conference in Accra last Wednesday, Nana Frimpomaa Sarpong Kumankumah, chairperson and leader of the CPP, said the EC should take responsibility for the abuse of the guarantor system and use technology to address lapses in the registration system.
The EC last Tuesday served notice that individuals who guaranteed for more than 10 applicants contrary to the registration law would be prosecuted and their identities would be published in addition.
The Commission said it had data on persons who flouted the registration laws and would submit their details to the Attorney General for advice.
Per the law governing the registration, eligible applicants who did not have either the Ghana Card or the Ghana Passport to establish their identity as Ghanaians were required to present two people registered voters to vouch for their citizenship and age.
The guarantor however cannot guarantee for more than 10 applicants.
Nana Kumankumah said it would be wrong for the EC to publish the identities of individuals who guaranteed for more than 10 people.
She argued that some of the offenders genuinely might not be aware of the registration law and thus the Commission should have put measures in place to forestal such abuses.
“All EC could have done was to ensure that by the time the guarantor hits the tenth guarantee, that system should have refused the 11th one. That is how simple technology is supposed to be.
“If the system allowed the person to go beyond the 10 application, that lapse is not the individual; that lapse is with the EC,” she argued.
The Electoral Commission registered 910,996 new voters in the registration exercise held from September 12, 2023, to October 2, 2023.
The EC said 61.9 per cent of applicants used the guarantor system after failing to present either the Ghana Card or Passport at the registration centres.
The Commission said it was “very much satisfied” with the outcome of the exercise as it exceeded its target of registering 700,000 new voters.
Nana Kumankumah accused the EC of setting a low target, adding that per the party’s calculations, the EC should have targeted at least 1.2m voters.