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No voter will be disenfranchised; manual verification will be allowed - Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission (EC) of Ghana has assured that no voter will be disenfranchised on December 7 when Ghanaians go to the polls.

Jean Adukwei Mensa, EC boss

According to Jean Mensa, Chairperson of the Commission, her outfit will allow manual verification of voters aside from the biometric one, so that those whose identities the biometric verification machine cannot figure out for any reason can also have the chance to vote.

She said this in response to a question posed to the commission by Haruna Iddrisu, the Minority Leader in Parliament, during a briefing by the Commissioner on the preparedness of the Commission for the Presidential and Parliamentary elections.

The EC chairperson was accompanied to the legislature by Samuel Tettey -Deputy Chair Operations, Dr. Bossman Eric Asare - Deputy Chair Corporate Services, Kye Duodo– Procurement Officer, and Henry Ashong – Deputy Finance Director.

According to her, the Commission’s new biometric verification kits had both fingerprint and facial verification elements but voters who were unable to go through the biometric system would be verified manually.

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“We are not expecting many manual verifications though...,” Jean Mensa told parliament on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

She also said that the Commission would set up the fax and email systems to receive results from the regions, adding that all political parties had been given soft copies of the voters‘ register, multiple and proxy lists to ensure transparency of the process.

The EC boss further disclosed that the commission has procured the necessary election materials including ballot boxes, thumbprint pads, stationery, identification jackets, polling station booths, rechargeable lamps, indelible ink, educational posters, seals among others in preparation for December 7.

“As we speak, the distribution of these items to our regions and districts is well underway. I can confirm that as a result of the thorough planning and distribution mechanisms employed, we are about 95 percent done with the distribution of election materials to our various locations across the country. What we are yet to deliver are the ballots and registers.

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“We are confident in the credibility and integrity of the 2020 Voters Register and are pleased with the collaboration and cooperation of the citizenry at all levels particularly at the district level, as well as the magistrates, to ensure that only eligible Ghanaians participated in the process,” Mrs. Mensa said.

She said 74,800 brand new biometric verification devices have been procured for the process.

The Commission said it has employed about 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 who are undergoing comprehensive training programmes towards the December 2020 Elections.

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