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EC In Trouble? Most Forms Did Not Indicate ID Used
 
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29-Jun-2016  
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The Let My Vote Count Alliance is convinced the Electoral Commission told the Supreme Court it had the means to identify all those who registered as voters using the National Health Insurance cards as proof of citizenship, just to avoid any possible ruling for a compilation of a new voters’ register or validation.

Before telling the court they could ascertain those who used the NHIS cards to register, officials of the EC, in a meeting with Nana Asante Bediatuo, counsel of Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako, plaintiffs in the legal battle over the voters register, had admitted it was impossible to identify those who registered with the cards.

Amadu Sulley, Deputy Chair of the EC in charge of operations explained at the meeting that the Form 1A only made provision for the recording of details of those who used the National Identification Cards to register, an indication that majority of the forms did not indicate the type of ID used by registrants.

When Nana Asante Bediatuo suggested that the numbers on other identification cards, including NHIS cards, could help trace the kind of identification that was used by people to register, Mr Sully maintained that was not possible because those numbers, apart from what was found on the National Identification cards, were not recorded at all.

“To react to, Lawyer, what you said, in fact, the Form 1A that you were talking about was very specific on that ID, and it was a National Identification Card; that was it. Yeah. Apart from that, all other cards, there wasn’t a field indicating the number that you want,” Amadu Sulley is captured on tape to have explained at the meeting.

Based on this information, the LMVCA says the EC is not in the position to produce any genuine list of people who registered with NHIS cards, as ordered by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court presided over by Chief Justice Georgina Wood, last week Thursday, directed the EC to submit to the court, in writing, the full list of persons who used NHIS cards to register and again explain to the court in writing how it intends to delete the names of the NHIS registrants, the deceased and minors.

Addressing a press conference last Friday, David Asante, convener of the LMVCA, insisted that the EC could only meet the demand of the apex court of the land with the production of a bogus list.

The pressure group wondered how the EC was going to get the list of the NHIS registrants when the Voter Registration Form 1A used in the 2012 voters registration exercise, indeed, failed to state specifically the type of identification one used in registering.

“Indeed, the only such space provided on the form was specifically for a National Identification Card as issued by the National Identification Authority. On the 30th of March, when the lawyers of Abu Ramadan and Evans Nimako met the Commissioners of the Electoral Commission on the orders of the Supreme Court to discuss the possibility of a compromise, the EC admitted that it did not have any records from which it could pull out those who registered using NHIS cards,” David Asante stressed at the press conference.

This, according to the pressure group, supports facts that the EC did not ask its registration officers to record every kind of ID used by registrants in 2012.

David Asante insisted: “The EC has no database of the actual number of people who used NHIS cards and even if the EC hires 200,000 hands to go through the over 14 million Form 1As and assuming the EC District Officers can be trusted for good record-keeping, that exercise will be futile.”

He continued: “So, you may ask, what was the motivation for the EC lying to the Court? Was the EC afraid that if it had said the truth and admitted it could not track those who registered using NHIS cards, the Court would have probably ordered the Commission to compile a new register or do validation? If so, then we should ask ourselves, what is it about a register that everybody admits is bloated that the EC commissioners would even risk the criminal sanction of perjury to protect?”

The Attorney General, during the first Abu Ramadan case in 2014, told the court that deleting names of those who registered with NHIS card would lead to disenfranchising a majority of Ghanaians, arguing that possession of the NHIS Card was more widespread than the other documents listed in Regulation 1(3) of CI72.

In the view of the pressure group, the arguments by the A-G pointed out clearly that about more than half of the estimated 14,000 names on the voters’ registered could have utilised the NHIS cards to register.

The group believes, with current development, the most viable means to cleaning the current voters’ register of all undesirable elements is through mandatory validation.

Remarkably, the EC is deploying biometric verification devices at all centres during its impending exhibition exercise. It gives the following reasons: “To get people who check on their names to be verified during exhibition, this, apart from authenticating the voters, would also reduce the incidents of false verification and improve efficiency of BVDs on election day.”

However, this exercise will only be useful if it is supported by law, which compels every registered voter to show up to be verified or validated in order to be added to the active list for the 2016 polls.
 
 
 
Source: http://thestatesmanonline.com/
 
 

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