Feature Article of Wednesday, 3 October 2012
Columnist: Boateng, Theophilus
As a democrat and a person who truly believes in every human being exercising his or her franchise, it was pleasing to have heard the electoral commission announce that the EC is carrying out the a voter transfer exercise from the 1st – the 20th of this month. In as much as the decision of the EC is welcoming, it appears several thousands of students who have just reported to the various tertiary institutions and have therefore not resided there for more than two months might be challenged in seeking to transfer their votes to the various campuses students. The decision has a setback which the EC has to address as soon as possible so that no one will be disenfranchised in this Dec polls. The conditionality in the statement which states that persons seeking a vote transfer should have been resident in their destination of the transfer should at least be resettle in their new residence for a minimum of two months. This decision would mean that some estimated class of people (especially students) who are eligible to vote would not have the chance to exercise their franchise in this coming Dec polls since most of the several thousands of students in tertiary institutions across the country are just weeks old on campus and will therefore not be able to successfully transfer their votes. It is factual that almost all tertiary institutions of this country admitted their fresh men/women into their various institutions this month of which some are yet to do so especially the polytechnics, nursing training institutions and the like. This goes to say that before these people with their number estimated to be over 40000 will most likely not be resident in their current places of aboard to meet this exercise because by the time they will leave up to the minimum of two months on campus the exercise would have been over. The following situation has the tendency of resulting in about 90% of them not participating in the election on Dec 7th hence the status of ensuring that eligible voters exercise their franchise will just be a mere talk.
I therefore entreat the EC to revisit its statement on the vote transfer and make the necessary amendment to enable all people eligible to vote to express their views in this coming Dec polls and if possible, liaison with various tertiary institutions to ensure that students who have just gained admission and would like to transfer their votes do that smoothly via their institution.
TESCON-KNUST Communication Team, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0244111592/0249134198