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General News of Friday, 27 November 2020


CHRAJ, Data Commission petitioned over Electoral Commission’s publishing of voter register

Jean Mensa is EC Chairperson Jean Mensa is EC Chairperson

Ghana's Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) and the Data Commission have been petitioned to deal with the Electoral Commission (EC) for publishing the full list of the 2020 electoral roll of Ghana.

Strategic Thinkers Network (STRANEK-Africa), a policy think tank, wants CHRAJ to investigate a possible violation of voters’s rights by the Electoral Commission for publishing the register on its website.

STRANEK-Africa also wants the Data Commission to enforce provisions of Act 843 against the Electoral Commission for publishing the register.

Act 843, known as the Data Protection Act, sets out the rules and principles governing the collection, use, disclosure and care for personal data or information by a data controller or processor.

In both petitions, the think tank stresses that the Electoral Commission has breached the privacy of voters by deciding to publish the names, age and other private details of voters on its website.

“In the era of fraudsters and rogues, one may have thought that the data of Ghanaians would have been held in high esteem and the CIA (Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability) triangle so far as Cybersecurity Management is concerned would have been applied religiously.

"Unfortunately, the most important component in cybersecurity seems not to exist in the office of the Electoral Commission. Does this not breach confidentiality as Ghanaians are naked with an open display of their data?” STRANEK-Africa quizzed.

The Electoral Commission published Ghana's 2020 voter register on a Google Drive for a short while before taking it down, justifying the decision to publish the electoral roll on grounds that it will promote transparency ahead of the December 7 polls.

The Electoral Commission received a backlash for publishing the details and some have suggested those criticisms forced it to take down the register from its website.

However, on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, the Electoral Commission announced that it has published the Special Voting list for individuals who will vote early on Tuesday, December 1 as a result of their duties on Election Day.

Read the two petitions to CHRAJ and Data Commission by STRANEK-Africa below.