The Ag Director of the Electoral Commission in the northern region, Mr. Lucas Yiryil has said the essence for the ongoing pilot demonstration across the country is to enable the EC identify challenges associated with the new system the commission will use to compile the new voters’ register in Ghana.
The EC Tuesday 2 June began the registration of applicants, largely political party members in the northern region and across the country to demonstrate its preparedness with the new Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) machines.
However, some fundamental difficulties engulfed day one of the two day exercise.
One of the serious challenges many applicants complaint about was the guarantor’s form which was not accessible.
This was after they (applicants) couldn’t provide their National Identification Cards or passport as required items by the EC.
Secondly, batteries of the machines used for the registration were not durable enough, thereby making the process slow.
But the Ag EC Boss attributed the situation to a software failure, explaining the software to access the guarantor’s form was not activated, hinting this has been reported to the headquarters.
He said unlike the past, guarantor’s this time round has to be keyed into the system.
Political party participation
Ten political parties including the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), according to Mr. Lucas were invited to participate in the pilot project at the EC regional office in Tamale.
THE CUSTODIAN can authoritatively report that, some regional and constituency executives of the NDC participated in the process.
However, NDC”s Regional Director of Elections, Alhaji Mohammed Amin Abio explained in an interview that, their presence was not to give recognition to the impending voter registration exercise.
He said, “We are to participate in this demonstration because at least in an election the EC will be doing limited registration and that is one of the reasons why we are here.”
Nevertheless, he accused the EC for being unfaithful and untruthful to Ghanaians, alleging the equipment the commission lambasted are the same they are using for this exercise.
“And we have also observed that it takes at least 35 minutes or some other instance 55 minutes for one to be registered successfully. We’ve also observed that the device is supposed to do the facial capturing is missing but when we inquired, we were told its in-build but we doubt it is in-build” he stated.
Not only the NDC complained about the process, the Convention People’s Party Secretary for the northern region, Mohammed Nuhu Jimli noted the absence of the facial recognition device is a worry to him.
Though he supports the compilation of a new voter register he said “We were told that they (EC) were coming with new features but I have gone through the system I haven’t seen anything like facial recognition, I don’t know whether it’s still there or they are not bringing it any longer?”
In a quick response, Mr. Lucas Yiryil explained to THE CUSTODIAN that the camera takes certain features of the applicant during the registration period and that will determine during voting whether you are the same person.
Meanwhile, the NPP Regional Director of Elections, Nana Boakye when contacted was hopeful that the EC will rectify the software challenges affecting the exercise and anticipated that things will improve going forward.