General News of Thursday, 23 February 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

EC Will Cater For Amputees, Challenged Persons In Biometric Registration Exercise

Amputees and persons with any challenge with the fingers will be catered for to register unhindered when the biometric registration process begins next month.

Person with such impairment, those with no fingers or some impairment that makes their finger prints unidentifiable will be registered and identified as such in the biometric register, together with their facial features.

Taking prints of the 10 fingers of a registrant is one of the features of the biometric registration system to be rolled out.

The Electoral Commission (EC) is also putting in place measures to ensure that those with any physical disability are not left out of the exercise.

Mr Hubert Akumiah, the Director of the ICT Department of the EC, disclosed these at a seminar on biometric registration and verification organised by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) in Accra.

The seminar is part of on going educational effort by the EC and civil society organisations to get Ghanaians sensitised on the biometric registration process.

Mr Akumiah, in his presentation said the EC would also engage the leadership of religious organisations to get women who usually wore a veil, to unveil their faces for the registration process.

He said the facial feature recognition system to be deployed could not recognise people who covered their ears with a scarf or veil or women whose hair styles covered their ears.

On the registration exercise, Mr Akumiah said polling stations had been put into clusters and registration teams would be visiting each within the 40 day registration period.

He said if a registration team visited a particular area, they would let those not living in the immediate vicinity know when the team would be at an area closest to them.

Other issues raised were whether the old EC cards could be used as identification in the biometric registration process. Mr Akumiah indicated that if a registrant had no other identification, that could be used.

He also clarified some apprehension over the use of the National Identification as part of the identification documents required. He said the requirement of the National Identification number was optional.

The Director also presented various scenarios on biometric registration verification. He said every registration process had inherent verification process, where a voter could be checked against several others to properly ascertain whether the individual voter was who the person claimed to be.

He added that the process of verifying one individual voter against several was possible with the biometric system, which could match 20 million data sets in two weeks to ensure no double registration and the like.

The resident scholar of IDEG, Prof Kwame Ninsin was hopeful participants would share the knowledge gained.

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EC Will Cater For Amputees, Challenged Persons In Biometric Registration Exercise

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