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General News of Monday, 14 November 2016


EC's biometric device a floodgate for multiple voting - NPP Man

A former health Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor administration, Dr. Kwaku Owusu Afriyie, has raised an alarm over the function of the biometric device which would be used for the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

The former minister under whose watch the National Health Insurance was introduced is indicating that the biometric device has not been programmed to track voters in the entire constituency of the various polling centres hence, a voter can still have his or her details in other polling stations within the same constituency after voting at his or her original polling centre.

It, therefore, opens the door for multiple voting, the former minister alleged while speaking in an interview with Kwame Tutu on Rainbow Radio.

He said, unlike the Nigerian Biometric Verification system which is able to identify registered voters at all polling centres aside the original centre they registered, Ghana’s system, he noted, is volatile and could be a possible scheme to rig the process.

According to him, it is an Intel he has picked and has therefore called on the Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana to rectify the issue before the election takes off.

Dr. Owusu Afriyie further admonished the EC to ensure that Ghanaians and their stakeholders, in particular, trust them in organising a clean, transparent and credible polls.

The 2016 general elections, he noted, should be the exact representation of the electorates who will go to the polls to elect a leader of their choice and party with that fair process and for the EC to prevent any form of doubt that will may compromise the polls.

The EC has assured Ghanaians that it will organise a clean, fair and credible elections. The first female commissioner of the EC, Mrs. Charlotte Osei, had said that every polling station will be allocated two biometric verification devices to avert the challenges that plagued the 2012 elections as a result of a breakdown of many of the machines.

In 2012, some polling centres were forced to postpone voting because the verification device broke down.

“If one has a problem or breaks down, we will switch to the second one. There is a backup we will bring from the constituency level to support that polling station,” the EC Chair explained.

The EC chair added, “The reason being that we want fewer people on the register of every polling station so there is less pressure on the machines and less pressure on the personnel. Hopefully, voting will finish earlier and we can finish the collation earlier and declare the results.”

The biometric system of voting was introduced in Ghana and was used in the 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections.

Biometric voter registration involves use of computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to capture the bio-data of applicants.

Fingerprints are unique to every individual and it is these unique features and other details that will be stored in the computer from which the voters register is produced.

The biometric system was introduced because the old form of voting was not able to detect multiple registrations.