Editorial: Let’s all register to vote in national elections
Ghanaian citizens of eighteen years of age or above and of sound mind, beginning from today, are entitled to be registered as voters for the purposes of public elections and referenda. The Electoral Commission (EC) has set June 30 to August 6, 2020 to compile a new voters’ register for the presidential and parliamentary elections in December this year.
The exercise will be held at all registration centres and district offices of the Commission throughout the country.
The Chronicle would like to call on all Ghanaians who qualify to register to do so in the spirit of nationalism, which is one of the pillars of national development.
We are all witnesses to the legal tussles which have preceded the voter registration exercise, and we believe the verdicts by Parliament and the Supreme Court, which allow the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register with new requirements, have been accepted by well meaning Ghanaians.
Now, it is your duty as a citizen to get your name into the voter register to enable you to decide who should manage our resources, as we set our sights on accelerated development.
We, at The Chronicle, have been following recent developments with regards to protocols we must respect to ensure a safe registration exercise.
We would, therefore, appeal to the EC and other stakeholders to ensure that the necessary safety precautions in ensuring the prevention of the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be adhered to during the exercise
The Chronicle would like to reiterate that safety measures, including the provision of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and hand sanitisers, as well as the compulsory wearing of face masks by all, must be put in place at all designated registration centres throughout the country to protect applicants from contracting the COVID-19 virus.
Again, The Chronicle would like to remind the EC that because of the “cluster system of registration” that the election body has announced will be used for the exercise, all applicants must be notified of the movement plans of the registration teams through sustained public announcements.
Media houses must play very instrumental roles in ensuring that the citizens have adequate information that would guide them form the right opinions about the operations of the EC.
We further call on all stakeholders to join forces in making the process a successful one.
In endorsing the Supreme Court’s ruling, which gave it the power to go ahead with the new voter register, the EC said it is a Commission which believes in the sanctity of the law, and thus respects the decision of the court.
By this assertion, The Chronicle would like to remind the EC that as much as it has the power to execute its duties by registering Ghanaians, the citizens also have the responsibility to register to vote in national elections.
The EC must, therefore, ensure that a conducive atmosphere is created to enable as many Ghanaians as possible to register.
We do not expect anyone to employ any means to deprive any qualified person the right to register to vote in national elections, because national security has assured us of protecting the process.
The Chronicle has not lost sight of the fact the Electoral Commission, in exercising its discretion in the discharge of its constitutional mandate in cleaning the voters register, should be deemed as authorised to be acting within the law and the regulations therein, and cannot be faulted, even if it is considered that there is a more efficient mode or method available.
It is against this backdrop that we at The Chronicle would like to appeal to the two leading political parties, the NPP and NDC, which have the largest following, to impress upon their members to patronise the registration exercise peacefully to enhance our democratic dispensation.
If we are able to clear the voter registration hurdle, the December 7, 2020 general elections would remain one of the activities on our political calendar with the great potential to further enhance our brand as the beacon of sound democratic governance on the African Continent. And The Chronicle can vouch for that!