The Electoral Commission (EC) will conduct a two-day pilot registration exercise at all its regional offices today and tomorrow to test the Biometric Verification Registration (BVR) kits, assess the protocols put in place, among other things.
But the decision by the election management body to compile a new voters register at the end of this month has been met with varied reactions.
Those in support of the exercise argue that a new voters register will guarantee transparent, free and fair elections in December, while those who oppose it think the timing is not right, and that the current register is in good shape, hence the need, if anything at all, to do a limited voter registration exercise to capture new voters and also remove the names of those who have passed on.
Notwithstanding the opposition, the EC is convinced about the need to compile a new voters roll and is, therefore, going ahead with the mass voter registration exercise, in spite of the protestations from some of its stakeholders.
Certainly, the EC knows the responsibility it has to ensure peaceful, transparent, free and fair elections and the Daily Graphic urges it to take the requisite steps to ensure that all eligible voters are duly registered to enable them to exercise their franchise on December 7, 2020.
This will avert the situation where somebody will feel disenfranchised after the all-important national exercise.
We are excited by the assurance by a Deputy Commissioner of the EC, Mr Samuel Tettey, that everything would be done by the commission to capture all eligible voters, so that nobody would be disenfranchised.
The country’s electoral system has, since 1992, improved steadily, from the use of opaque ballot boxes to the use of transparent boxes, voter ID cards without pictures through to the biometric register.
In all these processes, there have always been arguments over whether the decision to do this or that is good or it is being done to favour the sitting government or entrench it in power.
It is gratifying to note that in all the arguments, Ghana has always come out victorious, making our democracy an enviable one.
We are, therefore, appealing to all stakeholders, whether they are for the national exercise or against it, to remain calm, trust the EC and support the processes leading to the December elections.
We do not think it will be appropriate for anyone to boycott the exercise just because he or she is opposed to the EC’s decision to compile a new voters register.
We believe that when we all get involved and justify our arguments, the EC will take those concerns on board to enrich Ghana’s democracy.
We cannot continue bastardising one another as if we are going to war. Elections are certainly not for the beating of war drums but to trumpet competing developmental ideas and how to move the nation onto the path of progress and higher living standards.
For us at the Daily Graphic, we will continue to demand for jaw-jawing to find solutions to the numerous challenges that confront our democracy. After all, we can only improve upon what we have.
No political party or registration official should attempt to prevent or constrain individuals from registering.
As the EC embarks on its pilot registration exercise today and tomorrow, we entreat all the stakeholders to observe the processes to ensure that whatever rough edges will be identified will be rectified before the nationwide exercise begins.