Ghana is almost certainly gearing towards a revision of our voters’ registration and the Electoral Commission has been mandated and resourced to introduce biometric registration in the last quarter of the year. The fact that our current voters’ register has outlived its usefulness is well known and agreed upon by many political analysts. The fact also that the government has allocated GHS50 million to the Electoral Commission to implement biometric registration is equally known.
What is however uncertain is the kind of biometric technology the Electoral Commission is going to deploy and whether the biometric register that will be created will be able to stop multiple voting. Biometric verification is any means by which a person can be uniquely identified by the evaluation of a biological trait such as fingerprints, hand geometry, earlobe geometry, retina and iris patterns, voice waves, DNA or signatures.
Almost certainly, the Electoral Commission will be using the finger prints trait which is the oldest form of biometric verification. In its simplest form biometric in verification mode means biometric data, is stored on a smart card allowing almost instantaneous personal identification. These are already employed in some bank automatic teller machines allowing for recognition of cards so that people cannot exceed their withdrawal limit.
In a country called Ghana our Electoral Commission has gone to buy an antiquated biometric technology that cannot capture verification. This means even if you register biometrically and you try to use the card to vote more than once with the same biological traits (fingerprints) the system cannot verify that you have voted already. If this is the case then, the question is why should we bother to change the existing system?