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GES extends limited voter registration permission period for SHTS students

The Ghana Education Service (GES) has announced an extension of the permission period for Senior High School (SHS) students aged 18 and above to engage in the 2024 Voter Registration exercise, thereby enabling them to cast their votes in the forthcoming elections.

This decision, outlined in a letter dated May 9th, 2024, stipulates that students meeting the age criteria have until Tuesday, May 14th, 2024, to report for registration. The rationale behind this extension is to facilitate the registration process for each eligible student amidst the challenges encountered by the Electoral Commission.

The GES’s decision stems from a recognition of the constitutional right of all Ghanaian citizens to partake in the democratic process by exercising their voting rights. In Ghana, as in numerous other nations, suffrage is regarded as a fundamental right enshrined in the constitution.

To ensure widespread awareness of this decision, the GES has issued directives to the Regional Directors of Education, who oversee educational matters in their respective regions. These directors are mandated to disseminate this information to the Heads of Second Cycle Institutions (i.e., high schools) within their jurisdiction.

Simultaneously, the Electoral Commission (EC), responsible for organizing and supervising elections in Ghana, has already commenced the voter registration exercise. Beginning on May 7th, 2024, the same day SHS students were granted permission to participate, the exercise is slated to last 27 days, concluding on May 27th, 2024.

Meanwhile, the smooth commencement of the voter registration process encountered obstacles in five districts, where technical issues hindered the initiation of registration activities due to network connectivity problems. This network challenge, pervasive across the nation, impeded the registration process nationwide.

A reliable voter register is imperative for ensuring the fairness and transparency of elections, as emphasized by the head of the Electoral Commission in a pre-registration news conference. She underscored the commission’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of the electoral process.

Despite technical setbacks, registration efforts persist, with a focus on facilitating the registration of all eligible citizens, including those who turned 18 since the last registration period and high school students granted leave to participate in the process. The registration period spans 21 days, concluding on May 27th, 2024, with concerted efforts underway to enable all eligible voters to register and engage in the upcoming elections.

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