Decentralise registration process to ensure equity — PWDs to EC
Persons living with disability (PWDs) have requested the Electoral Commission (EC) to expand its voter registration exercise to cover all existing 6,272 electoral areas rather than the proposed 268 district offices.
They called on the EC to re-evaluate its plan considering the concerns of persons with disabilities and the difficulties envisaged.
Most of the concerns relate to the distances they have to cover in order to register at the designated district offices.
They said many of such persons were already embattled with the acquisition of Ghana Cards and would have to find the means to transport two guarantors over long distances to these district offices from their places of residence.
They said the use of limited offices would impose unbearable cost and affect the participation of first-time registrants, as well as creating unnecessary tension in the registration exercise.
Subsequently, the Disability Desk of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has petitioned the EC to employ the services of sign language interpreters for translation.
“By this petition we do not, in any manner or form, purport to control or direct your commission but are seeking equity for the civic involvement of all Persons with Disabilities and of all political convictions in Ghana.”
“We are not counting numbers but advocating the appropriate designation for registration to promote accessibility for all eligible persons with disabilities to be registered,” the petition jointly signed by the National Coordinator and National Secretary of the Disability Desk of the NDC, Frederick Assor and Edwin Kweku Andoh respectively said.
The petition said while the EC endeavours to advance Ghana’s democratic credentials through the constitutional mandate accorded it to handle all matters directly related to the conduct of elections in Ghana, a key indicator for its success is the full consideration and enfranchisement of persons with disabilities.
The petition said it reckoned that the commission already has its operational and budgetary plans but submitted the petition in lieu of the possibility of making the necessary revisions to accommodate the concerns and make available the additional resources the EC might require.