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General News of Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Source: Pulse Ghana

EC’s multiple registrations admission is an indication biometric system is faulty - IMANI

A senior Vice President of policy think tank IMANI Africa Kofi Bentil has expressed worry about multiple registrations in the ongoing voters registration exercise, which has been confirmed by the Electoral Commission.

IMANI Africa is even more worried about the whopping $100m the Commission claims to have spent in acquiring new Biometric Verification Devices, BVDs despite several flaggings and suspicions about the entire ongoing new voter registration exercise which has been fraught with attempts to disenfranchise Ghanaians.

IMANI Africa Vice President’s alert follows EC’s public notice of a de-duplication exercise to delete names of persons involved in multiple registration. Director of Electoral Services will not say if the persons involved will be prosecuted but emphasized in an interview with the Daily Graphic that such persons, who may have do so out of ignorance, will not have their names would not be included in the final voters register, meaning such persons would not be able to vote on December 7.

But Kofi Bentil insists EC has been heavily exposed.

“With $50m any average IT consultant can implement a real time biometric registration system across Ghana. With $100m EC says it was batching? And still can’t eliminate dupes automatically? Tell it to the Marines!”

As the Vice President of IMANI Africa put it, an efficient biometric system will clean itself up by automatically rejecting the same fingerprints for a second registration and there would be no duplicates.

In a post on Facebook, Mr Bentil who smells something fishy wrote: “EC says it has found duplicates in the registration and is about to clean them up??? That is a story you tell to people who don’t know how biometric systems work!!! A properly functioning biometric system will clean itself up !! There won’t be duplicates!!!"

He emphasized: “Something is funny!! Remember we spent over $100 million on this? And it can’t function like a simple database registration system???” He argued on social media ... It’s like trying to set up an email with a name already taken. It won’t happen because the system won’t let you proceed.”

The development comes in the wake of suspicions that the Commission is using the old Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits, an assertion, EC has vehemently denied twice, since the piloting of the exercise.

IMANI Africa, which has earlier flagged EC’s operations insisting that it is using over 40% of the old Biometric Voter Registration kits, has already challenged EC to asset audit. Two weeks ago, the Policy Think Tank, in response to the Electoral Commission’s claims that it’s not using old Biometric Voters Registration Kits for compiling new names in the voters’ register, described the EC’s statement claiming it purchased 8,500 brand new BVRS, as lies.

Another Senior IMANI Fellow, Bright Simons accused the EC of massive cover up after they were shocked to the marrow by scouts exposing use of devices they claim were obsolete.

Bright Simons further explained on twitter: “1. The point about a QR code having been pasted and kit numbers being “new” is a laugh! Anybody can stick a QR code on anything. 2. The 8500 machines in use claim is contradicted by there being 6788 clusters. 3. Seeing is believing:… 4. ASSET AUDIT NOW! 5. This is an institution that the Aud-Gen says has never passed an asset audit. 6. This institution lied about never having bought new BVRs since 2011. Documents in Parliament showed 2000 BVRS bought in 2018. Where are they? 7. Devices used in June 2019 are on camera in use last week!”

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