For the first time in the annals of the country’s electioneering, prisoners have been registered to enable them exercise their franchise in the December election.
This has been possible following a Supreme Court ruling for prisoners to be registered by the Electoral Commission (EC) to vote in the forthcoming general election.
It was an exciting scene at the James Camp at Roman Ridge in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency in Accra, yesterday when some prisoners were issued with ID cards to enable them to vote.
A close examination of six inmates by the Ghanaian Times, who were issued with new biometric voter ID cards by registration officials of the EC at 9 am showed that they were full of joy and happiness to be part of those who would decide on the next government to rule the country.
The registration of prisoners at the camp was however suspended 30 minutes later due to the usual breakdown of equipment.
“The printer has broken down and so our officers are going for a new one at the headquarters of the EC,” Ernest Simon, the Registration Officer told the Times.
The EC, in compliance with a Supreme Court ruling decided to register the prisoners during the recent nationwide biometric voters registration.
However, the prison authorities appealed to the EC to suspend the exercise, arguing that the true identity of inmates should be ascertained.
The EC was therefore, compelled to defer the registration exercise to enable the prison authorities to conduct a thorough check on their background to determine those eligible to register and vote in future elections.
It subsequently gave the prison service, a 20-day grace period to enable them to complete the background check.