18 CSOs reject proposals for new voters’ register

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18 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have rejected the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposal to compile a new electoral roll ahead of the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections.

The CSOs are; Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), IMANI Africa, SEND Ghana, Africa Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA), Financial Accountability and Transparency – Africa (FAT-Africa), Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), Youth Bridge Foundation, West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), Citizens Movement against Corruption (CMaC) and Human Rights Advocacy Centre (HRAC).

The rest are: Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI), Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Parliamentary Network Africa (PNA) and ISODEC.

A press release signed by all the CSOs, noted that it will rather be prudent to; “open up the electoral register for voters to verify their names, update the existing software in ways to make it more efficient, remove names of persons suspected dead or who do not verify, work with the vendors to prime the hardware and where needed replace faulty ones and acquire new hardware to augment the existing stock and work with the existing systems rather than a full end-to-end replacement”.

“We reject the EC’s informal, off the grapevine, costing of the alternatives to a full end-to-end replacement. We stand ready to debate the EC in any forum it prefers about its costing”, they added.

The group of CSOs further indicated that if there is a need for collecting fresh data on citizens, the more appropriate, most lawful and financially responsible and justified approach will be to let the National Identification Authority to handle that task.

The full details of the press release are found below:

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM 18 CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION ON WHAT GHANA SHOULD DO ABOUT THIS NEW REGISTER DISAGREEMENT.

The EC should:

1. Open up the electoral register for voters to verify their names.
2. Update the existing software in ways to make it more efficient.
3. Remove names of persons suspected dead or who do not verify.
4. Work with the vendors to prime the hardware and where needed replace faulty ones.
5. Acquire new hardware to augment the existing stock and work with the existing systems.

Source: Citinewsroom

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