Government and the Electoral Commission have finally yielded to both domestic and international pressure and agreed to compliment the biometric voter registration with biometric voter verification at the polling station in order to enhance the integrity of the 2012 elections. However, investigations undertaken by The New Statesman suggest that the ruling party, which has still not come to terms with biometric verification, is shifting the responsibility of funding the process to Ghana’s ‘development partners’.
Biometric verification is the process whereby a registered voter would be required to insert his or her biometric voter’s ID into a battery-operated e-zwich mobile payment system-like machine, place a finger on it for the machine to verify the card-bearer’s true identity before a ballot paper could be issued to a voter to cast his or her ballot.
A senior source at the Ministry of Finance & Economic Planning told this paper that both the EC and the Presidency were left with very little choice after “subtle but firm” pressure was brought to bear from Ghana’s ‘development partners’ who contribute some billion dollars a year to our budget and provide anything close to half of the money for our general elections every four years.
“The countries responsible for our multi-donor budget support have made it clear to us that they want free and fair elections and see biometric verification as a necessary step towards that end,” the MOFEP source said.
Full Article: The Statesman : News : Biometric Verification is on.