|Military To Participate In Biometric Registration|
|Monday, 26 March 2012 14:04|
Lieutenant General Peter Augustine Blay, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), on Tuesday said the military would fully participate in the Biometric Voter Registration exercise scheduled for March 25-May 4.
“The military considers the exercise as a civic responsibility, as well as a constitutional duty to register and actively get involved in the electoral process.
“We serve as an active core group for the maintenance of peace and security before, during and after the election…we, therefore, need to understand the whole electoral process through dialoguing with the Electoral Commission (EC) and other stakeholders,” Lt Gen. Blay stated at a day’s sensitization programme for the military on the exercise.
The dialogue at Burma Hall in Accra was organized by the EC on the theme: “Enhancing the credibility of 2012 Elections; Dialoguing on Biometric Voter Registration with the Military”. It was attended by a large contingent of officers and men from the Ghana Army, Ghana Navy, Ghana Air Force and civilian employees.
Mr David Adeenze-Kangah, EC Deputy Chairman in-charge of Finance and Administration, explained that the Commission was making arrangements to ensure that Ghanaian peacekeepers were not disenfranchised by the exercise.
“The technical mechanism of Biometric Voter Registration inhibits Proxy Voting, Voter Transfer and possibly special Voting; the Commission is, therefore, consulting other stakeholders to develop the necessary operational instruments to circumvent the challenge.
“EC will not disenfranchise any potential electorate, more especially security officers on national duty, as well as other personnel on official duty outside the country”, Mr Adeenze-Kangah explained.
Responding to questions on the fate of military personnel currently on peacekeeping operations outside the country and would not be available during the exercise, as well as those who would participate in the exercise but would be on peacekeeping operations during the elections, Mr Adeenze-Kangah said: “We are still working on how to capture their data.
However, he advised those on peacekeeping operations now to either take advantage of the mopping-up exercise on their arrival or report immediately to EC District Office for registration as soon as practicable.
On qualification requirements for the exercise, the EC Deputy Chairman said only valid documents would be admitted-“driver’s licence, passport and other time bond documents will only be admitted if they are valid.
He explained that the exercise involve the use of biometric technologies-computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to capture the bio-data of applicants.
Fingerprints are unique to every individual and it is these unique features and other details that are stored in the computer from which the voters register is produced.
Mr Adeenze-Kangah said the exercise had an inbuilt mechanism for detecting multiple registrations-biometric technology would make the detection and removal of multiple registrations from the system possible. “With this a more accurate and reliable register will be produced for the elections.
He said the upcoming registration exercise would result in the compilation of entirely new voters’ register which would replace the existing one and all previous voters ID cards. “Every registered voter must, therefore, be registered anew.”
The EC Deputy Chairman send that it was an offence for any person to be in possession of another person’s voter ID card without the consent of that person.
“No political party or any organization shall be in possession of the voter ID card of any of its members or any other person without the written consent of that member or person,” he said.
He said any person convicted of unlawful possession of another person’s voter ID cards was liable to a fine not exceeding 500 penalty units, or to imprisonment for at term not exceeding two years for each voter ID card held unlawfully.
Mr Adeenze-Kangah advised potential voters to keep their ID cards safe and neat for voting on Election Day, must avoid multiple registrations, since the exercise would expose anyone who tried to manipulate the system.
Source: The Ghanaian Times