Ghana’s voters’ roll, over the years, has been a subject of controversial debates and criticisms about whether it’s bloated or otherwise.
There have been snippets of evidence to buttress the bloated nature of the register all this while. Notwithstanding this truism, very little has been done to rid the register of names of those ineligible persons.
When the Jean Mensa-led Electoral Commission set out to compile a new register, it cited technical difficulties as the main concern for the exercise.
It also emphasized that it would cost the nation far less financially to compile a new register than sticking to the old, porous and unreliable one. The EC backed its arguments with facts.
Never was there a time the Electoral Commission indicated that part of the reasons behind its decision to compile a new register included the long-held belief that the register was bloated.
Be that as it may, we cannot run away from the fact that the 2015/2019 register was bloated when juxtaposed with the estimated 31 million population of Ghana.
Per data from the Ghana Statistical Service, if the EC had chosen to do limited registration exercises, it would have added 1.2 million Ghanaians to the register every year from 2016.
Impliedly, the 2020 register would have contained 20.5 million Ghanaians. This would have dislocated the 31 million Ghanaian population in relation to the percentage that should be on the register.
Now to those who would ask why the 2019 limited registration exercise did not add 3.6 million but added 1.9 instead, the issue is that the exercise was not expansive enough to capture all those eligible to register.
In effect, though the EC never made the bloatedness of the register any of the reasons ideal for a new register to be compiled, we need not be geniuses to figure out that the register, until it was changed, was bloated.
P.K.Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.