Personnel of the Electoral Commission loading biometric materials to various registration centres
The Electoral Commission (EC) projects to register 13 million voters during the compilation of the biometric voters roll.
Before the 2008 elections, the number of registered voters on the roll was 12.5 million, with more than eight million Ghanaians exercising their franchise in those elections.
A Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Administration, Mr David A. Kanga, gave the hint when he addressed members of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) at the Burma Camp in Accra on Tuesday as part of the educational campaign for the forthcoming biometric voter’s registration.
Mr Kanga told the military officers and men that since the registration was a fresh one, all other voter ID cards were deemed non-existent and urged all Ghanaians of voting age to take the opportunity to have their names on the voters roll.
According to him, with the biometric registration, double or multiple registrations would be a thing of the past because the EC would use an automatic finger identification system (AFIS) software at the end of the registration to identify all those who would engage in multiple registrations.
He called for vigilance from all Ghanaians in ensuring that the register contained only names of Ghanaians who qualified to register because the machines could not tell the difference between qualified Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians.
During the question-and-answer period, Mr Kanga noted that although a Ghanaian passport qualifies one to register, any one holding an expired passport was deemed to have none at all.
The nationwide voters’ registration exercise begins from Saturday, March 24 to Saturday, May 5, 2012.
Prospective voters would have to show their old voters identity cards, passports, national identity cards or National Health Insurance cards.
People without any of these must be accompanied by two registered voters who will vouch for their nationality and age. Ghanaian birth and baptismal certificates cannot be used.
All prospective voters must register where they stay and want to vote.
The biometric voter’s registration is a complete replacement of the voters register compiled from 2004 to 2010. As a result, all previous registrations and existing voter ID cards will no longer be valid.
All Ghanaian citizens who registered from 2004 to 2010 should, therefore, be registered anew to qualify to vote in public elections and referenda.
The registration will be carried out in four phases in all regions of the country. Each phase will take 10 days, including Saturdays and Sundays.
Phase one will start on March 24 and end on April 12; phase two will begin on April 4 and end on April 13, with the third phase starting on April 15 and ending on April 24, while the last phase will take off on April 26 through May 5, 2012.