The Forum for Governance and Justice (FGJ) wishes to point out some potential dangers associated with the biometric verification system (machine) being suggested for adoption by the National Electoral Commission of Ghana for voter verification in the upcoming general election.
Off the bat, we ask that the independence of the Electoral Commission be respected by all members of our society; especially the political parties. As a nation, we cannot honestly fault the Electoral Commission in its conduct of our national elections since the inception of the fourth republic.
Yes, political parties and civil society organisations can express their views and suggest ways to improve the electoral process. However, it is only the Electoral Commission that has the constitutional mandate to decide what systems are best suitable for the selection of our leaders via the ballot box; in a free, fair and transparent manner. In this regard, we wish to ask the Electoral Commission to seriously consider the dangers; some inherent, associated with the use of a biometric verification system in an electoral process.
Besides the fact that no biometric system can recognise or verify a person absolutely, we wish to state that we do not believe that we have the time as a nation to test this proposed system to ascertain the inherent error rates as a basis of reaching a consensus on what error rates are acceptable.