Ghana preps for biometric voter registration

Starting this weekend Ghana’s Electoral Commission will run 3 days pilot biometric voter registration exercise at 2 polling station in the northern part of the country. 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in Ghana, that will take place sometime in the fall will be the first election to use the biometric voter identification as a security measure against voter fraud. Previously issued voter photo id cards will become invalid.
During the registration process an eligible voter’s identity will be verified and biometric data captured, in Ghana election case it would be 10 finger prints and face photo. Special measures would applied who lost some fingers or don’t have any fingers at all so that they can also take part in the election process. During the actual elections biometric data will be checked upon casting a ballot to verify that every individual voted only once.
This new security measure raised a lot of concerns and controversy as it’s expensive and rolling it out requires significant communication infrastructure upgrades. Electoral Commission will be working under pressure to address all the challenges of the new process. Biometric voter registration process for all election districts is planned to take place between 24th March and 5th May, 2012.7000 biometric data capture will be used during the process. Each 4 of 23,000 polling stations would create a cluster where the registration will take place.

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