The Electoral Commission (EC) has inaugurated a voter registration adjudication committee to help expunge the names of multiple registrants from the voters register.
The 16-member multi-stakeholder committee which was inaugurated by the Chairperson of the EC, Mrs Jean Mensa, in Accra Wednesday [August 5, 2020], will be required to manually determine the eligibility of persons who have been flagged for multiple registration through the de-duplication process to be on the voter roll.
Chaired by the Deputy Chairman of the EC in charge of Operations, Mr Samuel Tettey, the committee has six other officials of the EC; five representatives of political parties and four civil society organisations (CSOs) as its members.
Political parties with representation on the committee are the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the Convention People’s Party (CPP), the Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and the Liberal Party of Ghana (LPG).
Among the CSOs on the committee are the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA); Abantu for Development and Penplusbyte.
The committee was constituted in compliance with Regulations 27 of the Public Elections (registration of voters) Regions, 2016 which states that “the Commission shall certify the register after determination of claims of objection.”
According to Regulation 27(2), the procedure for certifying the register includes:
(a) “matching of fingerprints in the database of the Commission by automatic fingerprint identification system;
(b) “examination of facial and personal data of all applications with multiple registrations by an adjudication supervisor of the Commission
(c) “confirmation or rejection of a registered voter by an adjudication supervisor of the Commission.
Throwing more light on the work of the committee, Mrs Mensa said the committee members would be presented with a number of cases that were flagged at the de-duplication stage of the multi-faceted mechanism to clean up the voters register.
She explained that the committee would deal with cases that concern persons who have different facial features but have some of their biometric features (fingerprints) matching other people’s.
“It will also determine the eligibility of persons who have same facial features and same fingerprints matching,” she said.
Mrs Mensa said the decision to include representatives of political parties and some CSOs was part of the commission’s measures to ensure transparency in the electoral process.
She urged members of the committee to be objective and strictly apply the law in determining the multiple registrants since that would be a major step towards a credible voters register and peaceful elections.
The EC boss assured all Ghanaians that with the robust and all-encompassing processes it had instituted to clean the register, there was hope that the country’s electoral roll would be as credible as possible going into the December 7 elections.
She highlighted processes such as the challenge system where a committee at the district level sat to determine challenged cases; the de-duplication process where registrants data from the registration kits were transferred to the EC’s central data to determine multiple registration; as well as the adjudication system as mechanisms that would ensure that the register is thoroughly cleaned.
Mrs Mensa observed that the EC was of the firm conviction that a clean voters register was synonymous with a credible, transparent, free, fair and peaceful election.
“The Commission is of the view that the voters register is the bedrock on which credible election is built. It is therefore, important that the new voters register bears the hallmark of integrity,” she added.
The mass voter registration exercise which started on June 31, will end Thursday [August 6, 2020], but the EC Chairperson said per its data, it was expecting that 16.5 million people would have registered by the end of the exercise.
The figure is 1. 5 million more than the projected 15 million eligible Ghanaians.
Mrs Mensa said the current figures were provisional and could go down subject to the outcome of the challenge system and the adjudication process.