The Electoral Commission (EC) has made it clear that electronic voting (e-voting) will not be applicable in the 2012 general election because the time is not yet appropriate for that system.
It however, indicated that it would most likely use a biometric register for the conduct of Election 2012.
The Deputy Chairman (Finance) of the EC, Mr David Adenze Kanga, made this known to the Daily Graphic in Accra yesterday after a meeting with the leadership of the four political parties with representation in Parliament.
He said there was the need for the nation to hasten slowly with respect to e-voting.
“For electronic voting, we are not going to be there in 2012. Our own view is that we should encourage corporate bodies and institutions to begin to use e-voting for their own internal elections so that people will get used to e-voting such that by the time the commission is ready and we go national, people will appreciate the difficulties of e-voting, if there are any”, he submitted.
Mr. Kanga said that was very important because when e-voting was used suddenly, there might be some misunderstanding at the end of the elections and some people might not accept the results.
The EC has short-listed seven companies for the provision of the technology required for the biometric registration exercise.
Mr. Kanga said biometric registration will go on, so that by the next year there will be a new biometric register for the conduct of the 2012 general election.
The meeting was under the auspices of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and it afforded the officials of the EC and the leadership of the four political parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the People’s National Convention (PNC) and Convention People’s Party (CPP) – the opportunity to discuss other critical issues to the smooth conduct of Election 2012.
One of those issues was the funding of the elections.
The EC has submitted a budget of GH¢80 million to the government for the conduct of the election.
Mr. Kanga said the EC and the political parties will continue to remind the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, so that the Ministry will in turn engage donors to raise the budget required for the biometric registration and next year’s general election.
“The conduct of elections is by the commission, but the success depends on the entire stakeholders, including the political parties”, he remarked.
Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, the National Chairman of the NDC, Dr. Kwabena Adjei, said, elections were the fulcrum around which democracy evolved and as such their integrity needed to be protected.
For his part, the National Chairman of the NPP, Mr. Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, said such meetings and conscious building efforts were very necessary to address issues.
“We are very happy with the agreements that we have reached on the biometric register which is critical to the enhancement of our democracy”, he said.
The National Chairman of the PNC, Alhaji Ramadan, expressed the hope that the meeting will go a long way to create a conducive atmosphere for the 2012 general election.
The biometric register to replace the existing voters register that was compiled in 2004 will capture the particulars of voters in an electronic version, unlike the current manual register.
It is believed that this will help address some challenges in the electoral process, such as double registration and impersonation.
Source: Daily Graphic