New Voters’ Register: Electoral Commission Explains why

On the eve of elections year 2020, the Electoral Commission of Ghana (EC) revealed why there is the need for a new register ahead of the general elections in 2020.

According to EC, the new voter registration is meant to ensure appropriate and meaningful use of technology to safeguard the efficacy of the ballot count and the acceptance of results.

Adding that, the quality of the voters’ register plays a critical role in the electoral process and an obsolete and incomplete register can not be relied on for an electoral process, which guaranteed the principle of one man, one vote.

Addressing the media on Tuesday, 31st December, 2019 at the Commission’s office, the Deputy Chairman-in-charge of Operations Mr. Samuel Tettey noted that, the acceptance of results among stakeholders was dependent on how accurate and efficient it identified people and correctly eliminated voter fraud.

This he said made the country to start using biometrics in its elections and had become an important tool for voter identification and verification.

In a tensed political climate, where there is a total lack of trust among parties involved in the electoral process, biometrics cannot be an adequate enabler if it is not up-to-date and responsive, he acknowledged.

“Its solutions must be complete and comprehensive to render the electoral process reliable, credible, transparent and trustworthy,” he stressed.

Furthermore, “The IT infrastructure, that supports this biometric voting management system must be modern, secure, reliable, robust and have the necessary performance features to meet tight electoral timetables and demanding service requirements”.

The Deputy Chairman opined that, the EC’s current system in place simply cannot meet the requirement to support the 2020 general election and beyond.

Emphasizing that, the server, storage and networking hardware at the Data centres on which BVMS applications run on are all obsolete and have reach “end of life” and “end of support”.

That, their component parts now frequently breakdown and parts to repair them are unavailable because the manufacturer no longer produces them or supports them.

As a result of the above, the Deputy Chairman in-charge of Operations revealed that, the cost of maintenance of the equipment has reached unsustainable levels.

Indicsting that, price quotation offered by the existing vendor for the refurbishment and upgrade of existing system was as high as getting a completely new infrastructure (both hardware and software) in place.

Noting that, the cooling units within the two Data centres are often breaking down and resulting in the datacentre having to be shut down on several occasions.

The Commission he said also realised during the handing over process from the previous vendor that there was no disaster recovery or business continuity system in place should there be a major disaster at the production Datacentre.

With regards to the current Biometric Verification Devices (BVD), he noted are unable to verify candidates electronically which lead to high incidence of manual verification.

Source: Ishmael Barfi/

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