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“Manual Verification With Bad Register Will Be Problematic”   
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The decision by the Electoral Commission to allow manual verification in this year’s elections could create avenues for manipulation, impersonation and vote rigging if the various flaws in the voters’ register are not satisfactorily addressed, Martin Adjei-Mensah Korsah, Director of Elections of the New Patriotic Party has warned.

Political parties in the country under the Institute of Economic Affairs Ghana’s Political Parties Programme called on the EC to maintain the ‘no verification, no vote’ regulation.

They made the recommendation, as part of their proposals for electoral reforms, after their representatives attended two workshops held for them by the IEA, to discuss and review Ghana’s electoral system, with a view to proposing reforms in the wake of the problems that emerged after the 2012 general elections.

All the parties agreed that, the ‘no verification, no vote’ regulation, which was adopted in the 2012 general elections should be maintained and enforced in the 2016 elections.

But the EC, which did not agree with the political parties, is now pushing for a legislation to allow manual verification in the upcoming elections.

Strangely, the NDC which had earlier supported the other political parties in making the recommendations to maintain the ‘no verification, no vote’ regulation has suddenly made a U-turn to support the EC’s decision.

According to Martin Adjei Mensah Korsah, the flaws in the electoral roll, which have been raised not only by the NPP, but the Supreme Court, the Justice VCRAC Crabbe panel and other parties, makes the current register ‘porous.’

“If the register is porous, why do you want to allow manual verification? It is almost equal to say voting without verification. So now if we have gone ahead to do this, it is incumbent on us to make sure that the register is fit for purpose, because the problem that were brought up are partially resolved but not wholly,” he stated in an interview with the Daily Statesman.

He disclosed that the NPP received a letter from the Chairperson of the EC, giving reasons why minors and other ineligible persons on the register will be difficult to ascertain because they all relied on the NHIS cards as a form of ID.

He added: “So, with all of these established flaws which remain unresolved, why do you allow manual verification against the wish of all parties, because the fact is that all the parties rejected it?
Source: Daily Statesman

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