The battle for a credible register has gone on for sometime now. It started from between a new register and its audit and clean up, and has now landed at which Validation method to use to get it well audited and cleaned up.
There has been some confusion with regards to the definition of Validation and so, Critical Thinkers International(CTI) will first like to clarify it before we start with our analysis.
I. Something, such as a certificate, that validates something; attestation, authentication, confirmation, proof or verification.
II. The process whereby others confirm the validity of one's emotions.
[English Dictionary, Android Application]
With respect to this voter register issue, Validation can be defined as a means through which a voter's validity shall be accepted by the Electoral Commission(EC) in their quest to getting a credible voter's register for Ghana's 2016 elections[Critical Thinkers International].
As a result of the definition above, Validation can't have a single method but rather there can be a best method out of its numerous methods with regards to this and many other issues.
At the moment, there are two main methods on which the public are debating over for one to be chosen for this Validation Exercise and they are;
I. The EC's method
II. The Crabbe Committee's method
A. Similarities Between The Two Methods
The two methods both seek to maintain voters in the register, who are;
II. 18 years and above
III. Sound mind
B. Differences Between The Two Methods
I. EC's Method; A voter's continous existence in the register will depend on the voter's provision of the appropriate documents, and his/her removal will only depend on a different person who can challenge his/her validity with the appropriate documents.
Note, anyone(living) including the dead[through their earthly representatives(relatives)] non turn up for the verification will still maintain him/her in the register whether he/she is a valid voter or not.
II. Crabbe Committee's Method; The continous existence or removal of a voter from the register will depend on the voter through his/her provision of the appropriate documents, of which his/her absence will automatically mean his/her non validity and as a result his/her removal from the register.
2. Is The Crabbe Committee Ignorant Of The Law?
CTI find the argument by the EC that the employment of the recommendation by the Crabbe Committee will be against the laws of the land as a very sad statement because, does the EC want to suggest that this committee headed by Professor Justice VCRAC Crabbe, a giant in law is ignorant of this law? Because if not, how could a recommendation of a committee he headed can never be backed by the law as being said by the EC.
Actually, the current rejection of their recommendation by the EC also means that, the committee wasn't up to the task they were handed and as a result, their failure to deliver and so a huge dent on their images.
3. Issue Of Disenfranchisement
We find the EC's argument of a disenfranchisement of some voters if the Crabbe Committee's recommendation is picked as weak, because just like the Crabbe Committee's recommendation which automatically removes anyone who doesn't turn up to be verified, a voter registration also automatically doesn't include/removes people who are valid for registration but don't turn up to register.
Does the EC therefore want to tell Ghanaians that the State/EC also disenfranchised the people who were valid for the 2012 registration but failed to turn up to register for a reason best known to themselves?
Furthermore, does it mean the EC has disenfranchised people who will be valid for this 2016 limited registration but will fail to turn up to register for reasons known to themselves?
Certainly NO, because from our argument with the two cases above which are very similar, it can be easily seen that it will rather be the individuals who have disenfranchised themselves and certainly not the State or EC if they fail to turn up to register or get verified.
Due to the analysis above proving that the Crabbe Committee's recommendation(method) is better than the EC's, CTI will like to appeal to the EC to use the committee's recommendation(method).
Secondly, with regards to the concerns of the EC regarding a possible disenfranchisement of voters if the committee's recommendation is used, the group will like to suggest to the EC that, after the employment of the committee's recommendation, they should publish names of all those who have been removed as a result of their not showing up to be verified, and after, give them a considerable period to get themselves back into the register through a proof of their validity through a court of law or any other means found appropriate.
5. The Hypocrisy Of The Crabbe Committee
Finally, we are shocked about the lies of the committee with regards to their own recommendation boldly written without any spelling mistakes in their own report for a credible register.
It becomes most sad they could make this u-turn especially considering their reputations in society and their educational qualifications.
Below are some pieces from their report to confirm our claim of their u-turn
"" Our checks show that Ghanaians, eager for a peaceful, free and fair polls in 2016 will be keen to be given the opportunity to validate the inclusion of their names on the voters’ list by turning up at a registration or exhibition centre to have their fingerprints biometrically verified, their facial image cross-checked with the EC database, and by presenting an additional, legally approved personal identification document to justify their eligibility to register to vote in Ghana.
In the same way that a new registration would have required citizens to physically appear for registration, the cleaning would require that they appear to confirm. The major difference is they spend less time because no forms are filled.
Rather than make others responsible for maintaining voters’ name on the list, the individuals should themselves do that. This also avoids the issue of people looking for documents to support any claim to get a record removed
It is our submission that validation, backed by law, is the only available viable option to give Ghanaians a more credible register, considering the amount of time left”".
Hhhmm, may God be praised always
Critical Thinkers International
Nana Kwadwo Akwaa 00233246913905 / 00233209676413
Adiepena Mirekua Sarpong 00233244570177 / 00233508710909
Innocent Supremo Tetteh 00233243266937
Frank Osei Yeboah
Isaac Asare Akye
00233207555933 / 00233246326600
Nana Kyei Baffour