The electoral commission told Ghanaians that, one of the main reason for compiling a new register was to introduce the Facial Recognition verification is that those who can’t be verified using the finger can have the option to be verified facially. The main purpose is to do away with manual verification. This statement was repeatedly made by Bossman Asare, Dr Serebour and the IT Consultant for EC.
Upon all the resistance from some political parties, EC went ahead to compile a new register and as promised, introduced a facial recognition verification system which works perfectly.
But do you know that manual verification is still allowed in the new BVDs? The most dangerous part is, a verification officer (VO) can manually verify a voter without his or presence by just doing false verification for both the finger and facial verification. Yes, you heard it right.
Now let me take time and take you through the BVD verification process on Election Day.
A voter appears at the polling station and presents his/her card to an EC officer who checks whether the person name is in the register. If successful, the voter moves to the next table where he/she will be verified.
He presents the card to the verification officer who locates his or her name in the final voter’s register and then Scans the QRCODE of the voter in the register. The QRCODE contains only the voter ID of the voter and that is what is used to search for the voter’s data in the BVD. Don’t forget that the BVD contains an SDCard that has total registered voters in that particular polling station.
After successful scanning of the QRCODE associated with the voter, the details of the voter pops out on the BVD and ask the voter to put his or her right index finger for verification. Now, this is where the trick is. A verification officer can do false verification by putting a wrong finger on the scanner. This will be rejected and allowed for facial verification. Again, the VO can do false verification. One this becomes unsuccessful, manual verification kicks in and the person can be verified manually.
This simply means, on Election Day a VO can scan someone’s QRCODE in the register in his or her absence, do false finger and facial verification for that person and go-ahead to do manual verification for that person and issue a ballot to anyone to vote. This is very dangerous.
Though in the EC official BVD manual, manual verification should be done with the involvement of political parties, I think the process can be abused to favour the NPP.
The question is, why allow manual verification to be done so easily when a facial recognition has been incorporated? Who is the EC trying to play smart with?
Vigilance is very key in this year’s election and I, therefore, call on the National Democratic Congress as a matter of urgency call for audit of all the BVDs.
By: Cyril Duodu & Attractive Mustapha
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