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Opinions of Saturday, 16 June 2018

Columnist: Kwaku Badu

Does the introduction of National Identity Card really pose a serious threat?

Some of us are apparently struggling to get our heads around how and why the loyalists of a political party can fiercely resist an expedient system which is going to take care of the much discussed influx of foreigners and foreign materials in our electoral process.

In today’s global competitiveness amid evolving technology, it is, indeed, a step in the right direction for any serious, committed and forward thinking authority to invest judiciously in technology.

It is for this reason that some of us would like to extol the NPP government for introducing the Digital Address System and rolling-out the National Identity Card to facilitate the nation building.

Of course, one would have expected the successive governments to pay particular attention to such a forward-looking venture but disappointingly failed to act accordingly.

The benefits of such data, so to speak, are crucial to Ghana’s advancement. Take, for example, in future, population census could be enhanced through the introduction of the aforesaid data.

Make no mistake, it is extremely important for any country to have an idea of its total population so as to facilitate the implementation of important national policies and programmes.

Besides, the introduction of national data will facilitate tax collection as potential evaders could be tracked easily.

More importantly, the emergence of national data and the future introduction of crime data will enhance the law enforcement bodies efforts to apprehend suspects.



Personally, I am of the firm conviction that the introduction of the Digital Address System and the National Identification Card will go a long way to minimise any future vote rigging.

For instance, in the United Kingdom where I have passing familiarity with the system, the size of every household is mostly known to the authorities as a result of the availability of data.

Take, for example, more recently, my son reached the voting age -eighteen years, and, I received a letter from my local authority, requesting me to update the number of the eligible voters in my household.



Of course, every lawful resident in the United Kingdom is known to the authorities, and so is the number of voters in every household.

Apparently, the system has made it possible for some of us to cast our ballots from the comfort of our homes. I am a registered mail voter. This means that I do not need to travel to a polling station to cast my ballot on an election day.

Indeed, no system is completely perfect, but let us be honest, some are better than others.

To me, it would be unthinkable for anybody to repudiate the proven cases of voracious vote rigging in contemporary general elections, notwithstanding the electoral fraudsters demonstrable infernal instruments of vote rigging.

There is no gainsaying the fact that electoral cheats will do everything possible to devise a diabolical scheme to gain electoral advantage over their opponents.



A typical example is when a Councillor from Manchester in the United Kingdom disowned his daughter who was his opponent in local council elections in 2013 as a result of electoral fraud.

His daughter, who represented the Labour Party, came victorious in the county council elections. However, her father who was the incumbent and the representative of the UK Independent Party uncovered electoral malpractices and reported the matter to the police.

However, through household data checks, her father discovered that she had earlier registered four voters from another country in her home address.

So, in an attempt to exonerate themselves from the opprobrium, the leadership of the Labour party went ahead and dismissed the ignominious electoral fraudster.



In my humble opinion, vote rigging has a perceptible likeness to a violation of allegiance to a sovereign nation. Thus frankly speaking, any measures that can check such a high crime must not and cannot be trampled upon anyhow.

The worst part of votes rigging, though, is the deserving winners’ may never know they ever won. How cruel, how pathetic and how unfair that would be?

I have said time and time again that it is unacceptable for the electorates to go to the polls with a view to voting for their preferred candidate and only for the people behind the scenes to select who should become a winner.

In sum, it is my fervent hope that the introduction of the National Address System and the National Identity Card will take care of the menace of vote rigging in the near future.

K. Badu, UK.