Plans by the Electoral Commission to compile a new register of voters is a recipe for “chaos, danger and crisis”, the National Democratic Congress’ Director of Elections, Elvis Afriyie Ankrah has said.
“The foundation of democracy is fairness, a level playing field”, Mr Afriyie Ankrah told CTV’s Nana Yaw Adwenpa on Ghana Kasa, adding: “I am saying and I repeat that the EC’s plan to compile a new register of voters is a logistical impossibility”.
“There’ll be chaos if they try it”, he insisted, explaining: “Not that anybody will spark the chaos but it is not practical to do – statistically”.
“The social-distancing protocol will restrict the number of people you’ll be able to register in a day. It is commonsense”.
“In any case”, he pointed out, “you’re going to use new machines which have not yet arrived”, noting: “We’re heading into a crisis”.
“Ghana’s unseen, invisible problems are bigger than the visible one: we don’t like the truth. We’re in May, we don’t have a timetable from the EC, people are sitting there and when we talk they say what? Does it make sense? This is not the first time this nation has held elections. We have both local and international experience. There are procedures for holding elections. We’re heading into danger and the media, eminent people are all sitting aloof”, Mr Afriyie Ankrah fumed.
In his view, the 2012 register of voters is a foolproof document and, thus, wondered why the Electoral Commission, led by Mrs Jean Mensa, is insistent on compiling a new one ahead of the 2020 polls.
In the Monday, 18 May 2020 interview, Mr Afriyie Ankrah said during the compilation of the current register, “The NPP brought three proposals on board: the need for a biometric voter ID and verification process, as well as electronic voting but the EC at the time, rejected the third one”.
According to Mr Afriyie Ankrah, the biometric nature of the register and the verification process provides “double security” for the electoral process, adding: “The 2012 register is supposed to be the end of all registers because all 10 fingers of eligible voters were captured during the compilation process and, so, there’s nobody in the world that can use your ten fingerprints to vote”.
So, only the bearer of that biometric data can vote”, he insisted.
Secondly, he noted that the 2012 register was compiled in a way that “allows people to go to their district offices to register if they weren’t captured during the national registration process”.
Additionally, he noted, “the 2012 register makes room for new eligible voters to be captured through a limited registration exercise”.
Furthermore, Mr Afriyie Ankrah said the EC, through its exhibition of the register, is able to regularly clean the register by expunging the names of dead people from the document.
“So, the 2012 register if foolproof”, he told Nana Yaw Adwenpa, pointing out: “The way it is, nobody can use your fingerprints to go and vote on your behalf except you”.
“It is not impossible because you need to be verified before you can vote”, he added, saying: “Even if an impersonator wants to do that, he would be found out and arrested”.