President Akuffo-Addo says it must be the collective responsibility of Ghanaians to ensure that the country has a register fit for purpose for the conduct of the December 7 presidential and parliamentary elections.
According to President Akuffo-Addo, “we must all make sure that persons who do not meet the requirements, as set out clearly in the Constitution, do not find their names into the register. If you aid the registration of an ineligible person, and you are caught, you will face the full rigors of the law.”
In his address to the nation on Monday, 29th June 2020, ahead of the commencement of the voter registration exercise which is scheduled to begin Tuesday, June 30th, the President reiterated that “the election on 7th December must be a Ghanaian election, not a West African election, conducted with a voter register of Ghanaians. That is the only way the true will of the Ghanaian people can manifest.”
He, therefore, urged all eligible Ghanaians, that is Ghanaians of eighteen (18) years of age or above, and of sound mind, to go out and register so that they can exercise their civic responsibilities on December 7, 2020, to elect a government of their choice in a free, fair, peaceful and transparent election.
“Using your God-given and constitutional rights costs nothing, but staying home can come at a very steep price. The pandemic, notwithstanding, we have to strengthen Ghanaian democracy,” he added.
Describing the compilation of the voters’ register as one of the most important tasks in the effective functioning of any democracy, President Akuffo-Addo noted that if an eligible citizen’s name is not on the register, that citizen cannot exercise the right to vote, and cannot, therefore, participate in the determination of the choice of the government of the day.
“It is, therefore, vitally important that all eligible voters register, so, on the designated day of 7th December, they can vote to choose the President of the nation, and the Member of Parliament of their area. In effect, our vote, our thumb, is the expression of our individual sovereign power as a citizen, which we should cherish and guard at all times,” he said.
President Akuffo-Addo reassured all eligible voters of their safety at the 33,327 polling stations across the country, explaining that the Electoral Commission has put in place the necessary, elaborate protocols for the process.
“All these protocols should be adhered to strictly. Additionally, I want to remind all Ghanaians that all the other protocols and restrictions, especially those dealing with large gatherings, must be adhered to and enforced at the polling stations at all times. So, let us all abide by them, and conduct ourselves in a manner befitting the image and status of Ghana,” he added.
He continued further, “If you do not register now, you cannot vote in December. Present your Ghana card or passport, which are the only two forms of valid identification. In the absence of these valid IDs, an applicant can submit one completed Identification Guarantee Form, endorsed by two registered voters, to be registered and issued with a voter ID card. By these procedures, all eligible voters will be registered. No disenfranchisement of voters is contemplated by them.”