EC launches Voter SMS technology
9/3/2012 8:45:55 PM -
Accra, Sept 3, GNA - The Electoral Commission (EC) on Monday launched a new Short Message System (SMS) technology platform that makes it easier for eligible voters to verify voter information through their mobile phones.
Registered voters are expected type the 10-digit Biometric Voters Registration number to 1413 on all the networks, a reply or a response follows after with one's details including name, voter identity number, age, sex, district, region and polling station.
Mr. Christian Owusu-Pare, Acting Director of Public Affairs, said the novel initiative was designed to afford Ghanaians the opportunity to receive messages and rectify any anomaly on the Biometric Voters Registration exercise, which was carried out between March and May this year.
The EC voter verification SMS mobile platform is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
Mr Owusu-Pare explained that the new technology was not intended as a substitute for one's physical presence at the various polling centres in the on-going exhibition of voter's registration exercise, which is taking place across the country but rather a strategy to facilitate access to the electorate's data.
'By this we are not implying that people shouldn't go to the various registration centres and have their particulars checked.
'The idea is to make it possible for people who cannot otherwise travel to physically check for those details to do so on their handsets without having to necessary travel to a specific location,' he emphasised.
The EC Acting Director of Public Affairs stated that the new SMS platform would have no bearing on the newly created districts during this year's elections but may be inclusive afterwards.
Mr. Amadu Sule, Deputy Chairman in Charge of Finance and Administration, commended the mobile content for developing the software as well as the UNDP for supporting the initiative.
On the on-going Voter Exhibition Exercise, Mr Sule maintained: 'the exhibition exercise was very important for getting a credible voters roll for the December general elections.
The Deputy Chairman assured that data on the new software was adequately secured stressing it would further enable the Commission to ascertain and know the number or total percentage of people who checked for their details and particulars on phone or used the new technology as against the number that went to the stations.
Mr. Lawrence Lachmansingh, Peace and Governance Advisor, UNDP said the primary reason for committing the UNDP to be part of election processes in Ghana was to promote public confidence and guaranteed trust in the electoral system.
Mr. Conrad Nyuur, Mobile Content Manager, said the new technology was deficient in picture display because not all the telecommunication networks had features supporting picture display.
He added in the near future arrangements would be made for an inclusion of picture feature when the need arises.
He further stated people were expected to report any errors in voter details at the registration centre and rectify such anomaly and effect any other changes or call the customer care in case of any challenge in accessing the detail.