#Election 2020: 7 things we learned when the EC boss addressed Parliament

The Commission says it will allow manual verification of voters during the December polls.

The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa, told Parliament that the decision was to ensure that no voter lost the right to vote.

“We are not expecting many manual verifications though…” she said in response to questions from the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, when she met the lawmakers to brief them on the commission’s preparedness for country’s eighth presidential and parliamentary elections.

Manual verification is used to authenticate voters whose credentials do not pop up when the biometric machine is used to clear them on election day.

The secondary verification system was one of the many irregularities the New Patriotic Party (NPP) took to court during the 2012 election petition as it made a case against the Electoral Commission for going against its own “no verification, no vote” mantra.

In 2016, the manual verification was employed again.

Ahead of the June-August voter registration exercise, the EC had indicated that manual verification would be a thing of the past as the new biometric system would have facial recognition technology to validate voters.

But when she met the legislators, Mrs Mensah said as part of efforts to reduce manual verification, the Commission’s new biometric verification kits had both fingerprint and facial verification elements.

However, voters who are unable to go through the biometric system would be verified manually.

Here are other actions the EC has taken concerning the 2020 polls:

  • Election results would be transmitted manually. The Commission would set up fax and email systems to receive results from the regions.
  • All political parties have been given soft copies of the voters‘register, multiple and proxy lists to ensure transparency.
  • About 95% of electoral materials have been distributed to various locations across the country. The only items left are the ballots and registers.
  • The Commission has procured 74,800 brand new biometric verification devices which are being prepared for the elections.
  • The Commission has prepared a new Biometric Voters’ Register with a total voter population of 17,029,971.
  • The EC has employed close to 233,632 temporary officials made up of Returning Officers and their Deputies, Presiding Officers, Verification Officers, Name Reference Officers as well as a COVID-19 Ambassadors for the December 2020 Elections.


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