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Wednesday, 19 August 2015 09:19

Bawumia Builds Case As NPP Discovers 76,286 Foreign Names In Voters’ Register Featured

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Between 2008 and 2012, available data shows that there has been an unusual increase in the voters register in several constituencies, the New Patriotic Party has alleged.

The said growth is one that defies logic and this is one thing that concerns Dr. Bawumia.

“One cannot credibly explain for example how increases in the voters’ register of magnitudes exceeding 40% can take place. Where did the people come from?” “...quite a large number of the constituencies with unusual increases in the voters’ register are those from neighboring countries. Take the Western region for example, where notwithstanding the oil find, Sekondi and Takoradi saw a 5% decrease in registered voters while Suaman and Nzema East saw increases in the voters register by 23% and 27.7% respectively,” he claimed.


Using facial biometric recognition technology, the NPP’s investigation team fished out 76,286 voters with the same names and faces on the Ghanaian and Togolese voters registers. This was made by known the party’s vice presidential candidate, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia as he illustrated during a power point presentation.

The purpose of the address is to pile pressure on the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register which the party claims would guarantee a fair playing field for credible elections next year.

"Many of the pictures of the Togolese citizens on Ghana’s register were not taken in a live environment but rather scanned from existing pictures and documents", Dr. Bawumia asserted.

Under Ghana’s law, Photos in the register must be digitally taken, but in Ketu south constituency (Temporary Booth Shikakope-Apekotuime), most of the pictures on the voters register were scanned, he further indicated.
 
This strange act left Dr. Bawumia wondering who could have defiled Ghana’s register with scanned images.

“The question therefore is how these scanned pictures got into the EC voters register?” he rhetorically asked. He was therefore left with no option than to point to “people with the necessary security permissions to do so”.

During the presentation, Dr. Bawumia described the current register as "a document we can’t rely on for free fair and transparent elections in Ghana".

The case for a new voters register is therefore overwhelming and Dr. Bawumia ended his submission with 11 recommendations noted below:

1. A new voters register should be created to replace the over bloated 2012 register. We suggest that this register should be created no later than June 2016.

2. The new register should result in the issue of Permanent Voter Cards with biometric information embedded in the cards as was the case in Nigeria recently.

3. The period of registration for the new register should be limited to a maximum of two weeks and the registration should take place simultaneously across all polling stations.

4. The new register that is compiled should be independently audited by an internationally reputable firm before the 2016 election.

5. Copies of the new voters’ register should be provided to political parties in both the electronic (csv file) and (pdf file) formats.

6. The new register should be sorted alphabetically by last name and gender.

7. The new Register should clearly delineate voters registered overseas by country and basis for registration (e.g., mission, scholarship, etc).

8. Statistical data supporting the new voters register (i.e. total number of votes, split by gender, polling stations, electoral area, constituency, region and country) should be provided to political parties.

9. The Public Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations 2012, C.I. 72 be amended to ensure that political parties receive copies of the final register of voters based on which the EC will be conducting the General Elections at least ninety (90) days before the conduct of the elections.

10. Regulation 1(4) of C. I. 72 be amended to read that a registered voter cannot guarantee more than two (2) potential registrants. Copies of such registrations should be made available to the political parties and should also be accessible by the general public.

11. Resource the National Identification Authority to create a register of all inhabitants of the land. This register will serve as the singular reference for all Government offices and programs, like NHIS, Free Education, Youth Employment, Passports, Driver’s Licenses, Tax collection etc which in itself creates a disincentive to provide false information.
   
 
Source: Chris Joe Quaicoe/ Peacefmonline

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