The National Identification Card, also known as Ghana Card, a valid verification document issued by the National Identification Authority (NIA) would not be used as a voter identification card in the 2024 general elections, the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC); Jean Mensa has assured Parliament on Tuesday.
“Mr. Speaker, I wish to emphasize that the Ghana card will not be used to vote in the 2024 elections, the Ghana Card is only a requirement to register as a voter,” Jaen Mensa said in Parliament.
She explained further: “Once you present your Ghana card and successfully register as a voter, you will be issued with a voter’s identification card which bears the code of your region, your district, your electoral area and the name of your polling station, the Ghana card does not have these features and therefore it will not be used to vote in the 2024 general elections,”
The assurance from the Chairperson of the EC puts to rest recent speculations that there are plans to replace the voters’ identification card with the Ghana Card.
Jean Mensa had been summoned to Parliament to explain details of a Constitutional Instrument (CI) that had been laid which if passed, would make the Ghana Card become the only acceptable identity document to be used in the voter’s registration process.
Jean Mensa explained that using the Ghana Card as the only accepted identity card through which an eligible voter can acquire a voter’s identity card is a laudable initiative to sanitize the voter registration process and to ensure that non Ghanaians go not get their names in the voters register.
Answering questions from Parliamentarians, Jean Mensa explained that C.I. would make room for a continuous registration of voters and will allow for an all-year-round registration of eligible voters rather than the current situation where voters are registered only and when there is pending election.
“Under the limited voters’ registration process, registration was conducted at limited periods and was not done all year round. This made it such that, persons who turned 18 after the registration period could not do so after the time set for the limited registration, which usually within 2–3 weeks.”
“Under the new C.I., anyone who turns 18 can simply walk into any of our district offices and register to vote. This is a departure from the previous one. The main advantage of this is that potential voters can register anytime any day. Eligible persons will be at liberty to do it at their leisure because it will be an all-year-round activity.”
Jean Mensa noted further that the use of the Ghana Card and the C.I. for that matter when passed “will prevent minors and foreigners from voting and will take away the guarantor system.”
““I will like to assure this House that the Commission does not intend to prepare a new register. What we are doing through the continuous registration is to simply update the register by bringing on board persons who are 18 years of age”, Jean Mensa responded when asked if the Commission was compiling a new register ahead of the 2024 polls.