After persistent calls for Biometric voting by a section of Ghanaians, the Electoral Commission finally announced that it is going to employ a Biometric Register for the 2012 General Elections. Ama Achiaa A. Baafi, our staff writer, examines the process, bringing to light matters which should engage the attention of all stakeholders.
Many a sound voter registration process is said to be crucial to any credible and successful election. Yet, voter registration is also often the most expensive part of conducting elections.
Election experts have said that there is no best way to conduct elections, and for that matter, voter registration. They argue that what works in one country does not necessarily work in another and that each country has its own political and socioeconomic contexts, its own resource limitations and its own needs to take into consideration when designing a voter registration system.
Voter registration Voter registration is understood as the process of registering eligible voters, while the voters’ register is the resultant product. Both the process and resultant voter registration need to be accurate, sustainable and politically accepted to all key stakeholders.
A document edited by Astrid Evrensel of the UNDP entitled, ‘Voter Registration in Africa: A Comparative Analysis‘, offers a comprehensive introduction to the single most complex process within the electoral cycle.
The publication produced with the assistance of the United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) as part of a larger initiative to examine voter registration in different regions of the world, critically analyses the efficacy and sustainability of different voter registration systems across the African continent.
It identifies guiding principles for voter registration and introduces the reader to the latest technological developments in the industry, such as fingerprint and face recognition.