Ghanaian News

New voters’ register: EC disarms critics with detailed responses

The Electoral Commission has explained that the compilation of a new voter’s register won’t discard all previous data contrary to fears in some quarters.

Some Ghanaians and some IT specialists have expressed fears that the EC might discard all previous data if it goes ahead to compile a new voter’s register ahead of the 2020 election.

During a meeting with journalists in Accra on Thursday, last week, the EC’s IT team discarded the notion that previous data will not be used.

According to the EC, it will use the existing data of voters during the registration of voters in the new register and that those existing voters will not be required to go through the same process as new voters.

“To be registered onto the new register, the existing voters need to only present their existing voter’s ID card to the registration officer. Their details will be retrieved from the existing database and their biometric captured, i.e. new facial image and 10 fingerprints,” it explained.

According to the EC, existing voters can have their details updated anywhere in the country where registration is on-going and new voter’s ID card issued immediately to them. The process will just take five minutes per the EC projections.

In another development, the EC explained why it is putting up an independent Datacenter. It said it is not advisable to share hosting service with a state agency like NITA because there will be unnecessary suspicion of governmental control if the EC keeps its application servers in a government-managed facility or cloud.

“Saving our data in the public cloud is not an option for the commission. Our biometric matching servers are processor-intensive and do not lend themselves to being hosted in a virtualised environment.

“We run process, e.g. printing of the voter’s list that requires industrial printers to be close to servers,” it said

Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission (EC) on Thursday disclosed that it has awarded the contract for the construction of the new Production and Disaster Recovery Data Centre to Persol Systems Limited and had begun processes for construction.

Mr. Samuel Tettey, a Deputy Chairperson in charge of Operation at the EC, announced at a meeting with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Accra, to make a case for the compilation of a new voters’ register and Biometric Voter Management Solution (BVMS), ahead of the 2020 elections.

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