8 November 2012

Ghana: EC Must Come Again


The Electoral Commission (EC) has announced that eligible voters who consciously engaged in multiple registrations during the recent biometric registration exercise will not be verified or made to exercise their franchise during the December 7 general elections.

The Chronicle is indeed happy with this fiat coming from the EC, as it will serve as some form of punishment for recalcitrant voters who engaged in multiple registrations, knowing very well that their actions were offences against the electoral rules.

The removal of their names from the biometric register is the price they have to pay for engaging in fraudulent acts during the recent biometric registration exercise.

The Daily Graphic yesterday reported the Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mr. Samuel Tettey, as saying the identity of such people would not be verified by the verification machine, and indicated that they would not be able to exercise their franchise in the December 7 presidential and parliamentary polls.

Although we commend the EC for coming down strongly on these offenders, The Chronicle is, however, worried that since most of these persons still have their voters' ID cards in their possession, they would still go to the polling stations in a bid to cast their votes.

Since the returning officers at the various polling stations do not have a list of the names of the voters who have been expunged from the biometric voters register, it would be difficult for them to ascertain whether those who have their voters' ID cards, but do not have their names in the voters register, fall into the category of the deleted names.

During the recent pilot biometric voting verification exercise at selected polling stations, one of the problems encountered was voters who had their voters' ID card alright, but could not find their names in the register.

Some of the voters whose names have been expunged from the register could appear again on December 7 with their voters' ID cards, and pretend as if they genuinely have their names missing from the register, and may decide to cause confusion and mayhem at the polling stations.

The Chronicle will want to advise the EC to furnish the returning officers with the full list of voters whose names have been deleted from the biometric voters register, so that they will be well informed to separate those with genuine problems from those who want to cause problems for the elections.

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