NDC demands independent audit of newly compiled voters’ register

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is calling for an immediate independent audit of the new voter register compiled by the Electoral Commission.

The party argues that the audit will check deduplication and multiple registration issues recorded in the register.

While addressing a press conference at the NDC’s headquarters in Accra on Thursday, August 13, 2020, the party’s Director of Election, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah, said details of the multiple registrations should be made available to all political parties.

“In fact, the EC needed to replace its system with a more robust system, including the introduction of facial recognition technology. No one has said anything about facial recognition again. When they [EC] speak these days, they don’t talk about it. Technically, any credible Biometric Verification System is able to detect duplicate registration in real-time and address the same. So it beats our imagination that this registration in the midst of a deadly pandemic, people will move from one registration centre to another to engage in multiple registrations.”

“Why would they do that? If there are any records of multiple registrations, the EC may have to examine the causes internally because we are reliably informed that the EC’s own system is defective and therefore deduplicates registrants by itself so they should look internally at their systems and processes. That is why we are calling for an independent audit of the entire register in relation to multiple registrations and details of all the multiple registrations on the register should be made available to the political parties for verification. We are highly suspicious of this move because we are aware the management of the EC has transferred almost all the experienced IT experts at the Headquarters to the various regions for very strange reasons,” he said.

Mr. Ankrah further called for the prosecution and arrest of the New Patriotic Party and EC officials who were involved in some clashes at Banda during the voter registration exercise.

“While Akufo-Addo closed our borders and was using the military and his vigilante groups to prevent eligible Ghanaians from registering, the NPP Parliamentary Candidate and executives in the Banda constituency were busily colliding with the EC officials to register foreigners who have no place on our register.”

“Our [NDC] vigilant agents spotted the Ivorians who came in a truck with an Ivorian registrant number and tried to stop them from registering but they were advised to rather challenge them to avoid any violence. We are therefore calling for the immediate arrest and prosecution of the known persons involved in it.”

EC inaugurates adjudication committee for suspected double registration cases

The Commission has already inaugurated an Adjudication Committee to manually determine cases of duplicated voter registrations.

The 16-member committee chaired by Deputy EC boss responsible for Operations, Samuel Tettey, is made up of political party representatives, civil society groups and IT personnel of the commission.

It has been tasked with manually reconciling cases where registrants’ facial and biometric features as captured by the biometric registration kits conflict.

The incidences of multiple registrations that will come before the committee will be those that are flagged by the automatic biometric identification system without being resolved.

During the inauguration of the committee, the EC Chairperson, Jean Mensa, said the committee was part of the next leg towards ensuring credible elections as the voter registration exercise comes to a close.

But she noted that the commission was still warry of double registrations hence the de-duplication system.

“It is now time to turn our attention to ensuring a clean and credible voters’ register ahead of the 2020 general election.”

“The commission is of the view that the voters’ register is the bedrock on which a credible election is built. It is therefore important that the new voters’ register bears the hallmarks of integrity,” Mrs. Mensa said.

“Under this system, the committee is presented with cases that are flagged when the system is unable to determine duplication.”

“Committee members are trained and provided with policies to enable them to determine and rule on the different cases presented to them,” she explained.

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