Biometric Voter Register for 2012 Elections
Written by Danquah Institute Monday, 08 February 2010 19:25
The Head of IT at the Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Peter Akumiah, has emphatically stated that Ghana will employ the use of a Biometric Voter Register for the 2012 elections.
This statement was made in a response to a question put to the head of IT at the Electoral Commission by Mr. Gabby Otchere-Darko, Executive Director of the Danquah Institute at a conference organised by the Institute to interrogate issues pertaining to the introduction of a Biometric Voter Registration and Electronic Voting in Ghana.
Mr. Akumiah said a biometric voter register would be implemented for the 2012 elections and could be completed in about a year’s time “if all things work out well,” he said.
He stated categorically that the Electoral Commission would want to produce its own voter register and not rely on the database from the registration exercise of the National Identification Authority (NIA) or any other body as was being suggested by most of the participants at the conference.
Mr Akumiah stated that voting is a voluntary exercise and as such if a voter register was to be generated by the NIA, such a list would include all persons of 18 years and above and not everyone on the list would necessarily want to vote.
To buttress this point, Mr. Akumiah further stated the Electoral Commission would thus have to produce electoral materials for every person on the voter register generated by the NIA and this would mean securing more funds as opposed to the EC generating its own list which would capture fewer electorates and as such less funds would be needed for carrying out an election.
Advocates for the use of a biometric voter register point to the fact that the problem of multiple voting, which is usually associated with the current paper-based ballot system Ghana is currently employing, would be eliminated. This would ensure a cleaner voter register and would further deepen the faith in the results of elections.