General Politics

A lot of fingers can’t be recognised – EC defends request for new register

The Electoral Commission (EC) says its current system is outdated and weak hence the request for ¢444,846,663 to compile a new voters’ register before the 2020 general election.

EC’s Director of Electoral Services, Dr Serebour Quaicoe during the PM Express show on Tuesday said the Commission is currently facing numerous challenges with the biometric verification system which need to be updated.

“A lot of people’s fingers are failing to be recognised so with the new one that we want to introduce, we will add facial recognition, so that if the fingers fail we can use the face to verify,” he explained.

EC on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 asked Parliament to approve ¢444,846,663 for the compilation of a new voters’ register prior to the 2020 general election.

This has raised eyebrows and the biggest opposition, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has kicked against the new register.

They believe the EC is purposefully attempting to disenfranchise some people with the new register.

“…in my opinion, there is no such need for a new voters’ register. Why do we require a new register?…Our practice has been that we replace the new register every decade,” General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah said.

But Dr Serebour argued that with manual verification on the high, the essence of biometric is being defeated since it was introduce to curb multiple registrations, voting and impersonation.

He stressed that should things be left as it is, the system may fail at some point.

“If we don’t take care, it will get to a point and the system will crash in our faces,” he warned.

Also, commenting on the issue, Dean of Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies, Dr Eric Oduro Osae saw the move by the EC to promote transparency and fairness in the electoral process.

“It is key to our growth of democracy and key to enable people have confidence in the system and confidence is critical for people’s participation in governance.

“So if this will give us the confidence and the openness we need, then I am for it,” he stated.

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