Renowned media personality and lawyer, Samson Lardy Anyenini, has said his reading of the law suggests that the Electoral Commission (EC) cannot prevent any eligible voter from casting their ballot on December 7 on grounds that the voter failed to put on a nose mask.
He states that unless the Executive Instrument that was introduced to make the wearing of nose masks in public places mandatory has been renewed to cover the current period – Special Voting on December 1 and general elections on December 7 – the EC will be violating the rights of eligible voters by preventing them from casting their ballots because they did not have nose masks on.
Mr Anyenini told Joy News on Tuesday, December 1, 2020, that anyone whose name is on the electoral roll is entitled to vote.
“The law that regulates how we go about voting, which is C.I. 127, says in Regulation 29 that you must report to the polling station at 7:00 am or any time between 7:00 am and 5:00 pm, after which you shall be disallowed from voting.
“What it means, therefore, is that while you have the constitutional right to vote, and you have been so registered to vote, with your name in the voters’ register, you must still comply with the subsidiary law on how to go about voting,” he stressed.
He said while it is important for Ghanaians to put on nose mask as a coronavirus safety protocol, “It’s not our views or opinions about who can vote and what can happen to them if they try to vote, but it is what the Constitution, which guides all of us, including the Electoral Commission, are bound to.”
He added: “the Constitutional provision in Article 42 is that once you’re a Ghanaian of 18 years or above, and of sound mind, you have the right to vote and to be registered as a voter for the purposes of voting.”
His submissions follow reports that security personnel turned away voters, including three security officials, for failing to put on nose mask when they showed up to cast their ballots in the special voting exercise on Tuesday.