The Electoral Commission’s insistence to restrict the limited voter registration exercise to its district offices, according to Sammy Gyamfi, is a mechanism schemed by the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the election management body to rig the 2024 polls.
The National Communications Officer of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says the party’s intention is to use the process for votes gerrymandering.
He explains that the centralised nature of the exercise will not allow party agents to verify whether persons being brought to a centre to register actually hail from the constituency or not. This, he continued, will lead to busing of people from the NPP’s strongholds to register in areas where the NDC won marginally to flip the seats from them.
Sammy Gyamfi was speaking on The KeyPoints on TV3 with Alfred Ocansey Saturday, September 9, 2023.
“…They can rig the elections. Because the NPP are in office, they have the largesse of the state. If you restrict the registration centres to the district offices, they can take state funds, taxpayers money and transport their supporters to district offices whereas the opposition parties cannot. So that will give the NPP an undue advantage so that whiles we are suppressing votes in NDC strongholds, the NPP will have an advantage.
“By restricting registration centres to their district offices, they can rig the elections through gerrymandering. If they do the registration at the electoral area level as they have always done, political parties as they always do will recruit and deploy agents and usually the agents are residents in those electoral areas so when you come to register and you are not ordinarily a resident of that electoral area, they challenge you and you can’t go through the system.
“By restricting the process to their district offices, you cannot have one agent who knows all the people who live in the district so for marginal constituencies where the NDC have won, they can move people from Vincent Assafuah’s (co-panelist on the show) constituency, Tafo, Bantama and bring them to the constituency and you cannot detect whether they live in that district or not so they are able to do gerrymandering,” he asserted.
He explained further that the development will lead to voters not identifying their polling stations on voting day.
“The chaos this will create if we allow it to happen is that in 2024 you will have a lot of people who may not be able to even locate their polling stations on the Election Day,” he said.
Two private citizens have sued the EC aside from an injunction sought by the NDC, CPP and three other political parties to prevent the commission from carrying out the registration. But the court said the Chief Justice had travelled so the petitioners could not be given a date for hearing.
The Electoral Commission is commencing the exercise today and end on October 2, 2023.