General News of Friday, 7 December 2012
President John Dramani Mahama has asked the Electoral Commission to allow voters with valid Voter ID cards cast their votes even if the verification machine fails to recognize them.
He says it is unfair to disenfranchise some people because their identity cannot be verified by a piece of equipment.
There have been reports from various polling centres that some voters have not been able to cast their vote because the verification machines have not verified their identity.
The President of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, Nana Sigri, told Joy News his wife and many of his subjects had not been able to vote despite the fact that their names are in the register.
Joy News’ Hashmeen Mohammed reported from the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, that the chiefs are appealing to the EC to do something about the situation.
Tamale chief, Mr. Alhassan Abdulai, speaking through his secretary, Abdulai Mohammed Rashad, said many residents had poured into his palace, appealing to him to appeal to the EC Chairman, Dr. Kwadwo Afari Gyan, to intervene to ensure that they were not disenfranchised.
He said, “People want to vote but verification machines are rejecting them.”
President Mahama believes the pleas of the people must be heard.
But the Public Affairs Director of the EC, Mr. Owusu Parry, said the decision, no verification, no vote was one reached by all the political parties and that he was incapable of altering it.
He insisted the EC had made adequate provisions for backup on which electoral officers could fall in the event that the machine malfunctioned.