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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

VOTER REGISTRATION- WE SHOULD LOOK FOR LONG-TERM SOLUTIONS

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The Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) is currently undertaking an exercise to register young people to register to become voters.

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The process would also enable Ghanaians who are willing and who have never registered before, to register to vote.

The process has been flawed by several shortcomings, such as poor internet access, violence, busing, political chicanery and numerous other faults.

The Daily Searchlight is of the belief that all these limitations are arising out of the fact that Ghana has not dedicated long term thinking and implementation to the problem of identification of Ghanaians.

Several years ago, Ghana set up the National Identification Authority (NIA) ostensibly to find lasting solutions to the pressing problem of a Ghanaian identity. The process has been flawed by numerous obstacles, such as overcharging for the facility, procurement anomalies, xenophobia, and numerous other ills. It is also too expensive and extortionate of the taxpayer.

The sad aspect of the issue of identity, however, is that Ghana has a births and deaths registry, which could easily be used to solve the question of identity.

The Daily Searchlight says that if the operations of the Births and Deaths Registry had been sufficiently deepened and funded, it would have been spread all over the country, and empowered with enough database to keep and store records of Ghanaians from birth to death.

With such a facility, it would be relatively easy to access the data of people at the voting age, so that they can be contacted, in quite comfortable manner, to submit necessaries like current pictures and fingerprint to be able to be able to vote.

As it is, the NIA, the EC, the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and several other agencies are busy gathering the same data that could have been gathered at a single point.

We hope that the time would come when Ghana would be able to think through its problems and arrive at a solution that creates comfort for its citizens.

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