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22.02.2012 Politics

Biometric Voter Registration System to be fraudulent free- EC

By GNA
Biometric Voter Registration System to be fraudulent free- EC
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Accra, Feb. 22, GNA - Mr Hubert Akumiah, Director of the Information Communication Technology Department of the Electoral Commission (EC), has warned that people, who attempt to register twice during the upcoming Biometric Voters' Registration exercise, would be detected and arrested.

This is because the biometric system is efficient in preventing and detecting any fraud concerning voter registration.

Mr Akumiah was speaking at a seminar, in Accra on Wednesday on the theme: “Biometric Registration and Verification Towards Credible Elections,” organised by the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDG), in collaboration with the EC.

"There would be a very effective monitoring system if you try to cheat, you would definitely be found out by the system,” he stressed.

He gave the assurance that any possible challenges associated with the new registration system would be dealt with, adding: "Technology is transferable… There are capable people… who are well resourced to handle any problems that might come up during the exercise.”

Mr Akumiah said the biometric registration technology could measure and analyse human body characteristics such as DNA and facial patterns.

“The biometric system would achieve a comprehensive and accurate voter's register, which is the basis of credible elections,” he said.

Mr Akumiah said most of the features that characterised the old registration process would be present in the biometric registration system.

“Registration would be at designated locations or polling stations, and normal biographic data would be collected. An instant photo ID card would also be issued.”

Mr Akumiah said the biometric voter registration would be done in clusters simultaneously in all regions, while a team of officials with a set of equipment would be assigned to a number of polling stations in an electoral area.

The team would operate in a registration centre or polling station for 10 days, and move to another registration centre within the cluster for another 10 days, said Mr Akumiah.

Mr Akumiah said the cost of the total registration exercise was estimated at GH¢243,528,305.

Professor Kwame Ninsin of the IDG, who chaired the occasion, said Ghana had worked hard towards ensuring free and fair elections since 1992, while the biometric registration system marked a milestone in the country's quest for transparency in the process.

“Just as political leaders work hard towards success at elections, citizens should also do their part to ensure that the electoral process is successful, in order to ensure that the country's democratic process is intact,' he added.

The Electoral Commission has announced that it would begin the biometric voter registration exercise on Saturday March 24 to Saturday May 25.

The Chairman of the EC, Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, said the nationwide exercise would be carried out in four phases, with each phase lasting for a maximum of 10 days, weekends inclusive.

GNA

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