Feature Article of Monday, 19 November 2012
Columnist: Baffour, Francis
Of course there are several ways to rig an election but I have put them in a four quadrant grid to cover some of the other variations as well. In the case of Ghana’s forthcoming elections I came up with these: the Tain Effect strategy (TES), flaws in the Biometric exercise, Voter suppression and the Voter maximizer strategy.
Tain Effect Strategy (TES)
Certain factors must come into play for it to execute efficiently: It must take place in a constituency you are highly favored to win aka Tain. You intentionally cause a delay in your Tain using ‘Dumsor’ (rolling blackouts) as an excuse- an act of their evil god. Your opponents have already turned in figures and all their polling stations closed.
You cause disruptions using Djan’s method of machomen and foot soldiers to dispute your opponents figures.
When things return to normal and the election is on the line you release figures , now bloated, from the several Tains you created, due to ‘Dumsor’ in an avalanche to declare yourself winner. This is what they mean by one-touch victory or their slogan ‘E dey be keke’ which translates as a done deal.
Flaws in the Biometric Exercise-Thumb Drives
Since data from each polling station is stored on a thumb drive and we are talking of thousands of these, it can easily be falsified knowing it is going to wrong hands. Let me tell you something: they are good at it, honing the skills of doctoring sermons and moreso having the carte blanche from the Electoral Commission (EC) which is made up mostly of party affiliates.
A way out is for the International observers to provide their own thumb drives which are coded before downloading of voters info and decoded when uploading the results from each polling station to the national grid or computer. This method will preserve data integrity.
The ink method where a voter dips a finger should be combined since the stain stays for weeks and can be used to eliminate fraudsters from multiple registration or voting.
Doctored thumb drives already in their possession to alter votes in their favor. Delay on the part of the EC of to release voters Biometric register to the various political parties for cross-checking and verification, less than three weeks from Election Day.
Multiple registration through the Biometric with one person caught who had done it a dozen times.
Tampering with machines to alter vote totals by means of software. Voter Suppression The goal is to prevent as many voters as possible in your opponents stronghold from voting so as to boost your chances of winning. You use uniformed men, machomen and foot soldiers to intimidate physically so they don’t show up for voting or attack the polling places before voting takes place so as to discourage them.
Purging voter rolls because of computer mismatch, underage or relocation to a different constituency dozens of miles away with not enough time to vote. Disinformation about voting procedures to the largely illiterate voters to vote for a candidate not of their choice.
Gerrymandering to create new constituencies weeks before election as happened in Kenya in 2008 to confuse and frustrate voters so they give up entirely since they will be directed miles away to go voting as a result of re-districting. ‘Dumsor’ tactic but this time to benefit them for the reason they do not have electricity to power up the machines all the time so they conduct a few exercises and leave. Remember they already have doctored thumb drives in their possession and upload these as the final results. So you are undercounted in your constituency. Manipulation of demography to prevent some ethnic groups like the Akans from voting in certain parts of Accra, the capital which is also a melting-pot. The UN should look into this since the Akans are the majority in population and the cash cow of Ghana accounting for more than eighty percent of exports.
Maximizing of Voters
Voting is a number’s game and the more people you sign up the brighter your chances of winning. So how do you boost your tally ?
Showering of gifts to party faithful in the bastions or ‘World Bank’. Vehicles needed for government work are given out free here to the most ardent to recruit more, at taxpayer’s expense.
Vote buying which now costs Gc 50.00 per person, about two weeks salary and billions of dollars borrowed from China makes this possible. Westerners should put pressure on China to desist from it. Registration of prison inmates to vote for government in order to earn early release.
Registration of citizens from neighboring countries especially Togo, with cash incentives and promising them residency. Replication of Biometric voter ID. Some voters in the strongholds have multiples. Tampering with machines to increase your tally. Disenfranchising your opponent over incomplete paperwork, or underage, or invalidating their vote, or changed constituency or deleting their information from the network.
We call on all Ghanaians to be vigilant, standing up for their rights because we are dealing with people who want to hang on to power at all costs and continue their lies, propaganda, stealing and non-performance- a party denounced by it’s own founder as corrupt. Such a government does not represent the will of the majority. At that point the NDC President must stand down so Ghana will preserve the peace it has enjoyed so far and continue to be a beacon of democracy in Africa. We are the envy of many countries. He is ‘youthful’ and has many years ahead of him to run again. We do not want people on the streets, fighting, mercenaries, desertion and defection in the Army, retaliation against a tribe, disintegration of Ghana- a scene all too reminiscent of Ivory Coast two years ago. Let us give peace a chance !
Francis Baffour (Nom de Plume)