In April this year, Ghanaians from all walks of life applauded the decision by the Electoral Commission of Ghana to employ the use of a Biometric Voters register for the 2012 general elections. Government also pledged its support and commitment, that same month through Haruna Iddrisu, Minister of Communications, to the Electoral Commission, stating that the exercise could cost over $80 million.
The Minister stated, “Though the cost might be a little high, it is not more than the cost of disputed elections, and addresses the issue of multiple voting to make our elections more credible”
However, two months down the line no funds have been released to the Electoral Commission to conduct stakeholder meetings, carry out voter education and also the actual nationwide compilation of the register, taking into consideration the fact that Ghana is about to employ the use of a new technology.
The non-release of funds by government means the Electoral Commission will not be able to stick to its declared programme to provide a biometric voter register for the 2012 general elections.
This trend is indeed very worrying, considering the fact that the 2012 general elections is less than 18 months away, which indeed is very little time for the introduction of this new technology considering the time it will take for Dr Afari Gyan’s grandmother in the village to adjust to this new technology.
Already, Ghanaians have been given enough cause to worry about the future. The December 2010 Unit Committee and District Assembly elections and the numerous problems associated with its conduct did not also endear the Electoral Commission and the Mills-Mahama NDC government to the hearts of Ghanaians.
The problems associated with the elections ranged from low voter education, inadequate means of transporting election materials to government not releasing funds for the EC on time.