Biometric verification expected to quicken voting and results in Ghana elections



 The electoral commission (EC) in Ghana is bullish that the quality of the biometric verification machines being used in today’s general elections will play a major role in fast-tracking the voting process.


This view was echoed recently by the EC’s deputy Chairperson Dr. Eric Bossman Asare as he spoke about the state of preparedness of the elections management body ahead of the polls, authoritative newspaper Ghanaian Times reports.


Citizens in the West African nation of Ghana are this December 7 heading to the polls to choose a new President as well as Members of Parliament for the country’s 275 parliamentary constituencies.


Dr. Asare was speaking Thursday at a media interaction with reporters to give updates on the build-up to the polls, which are seeing incumbent President Nana Akufo-Addo closely challenged by his immediate past predecessor, John Mahama, in an election of 12 candidates.


The official said the limited time used for the biometric verification process will add to other positive measures put in place by the EC in helping to avert the situation of voters having to stand for long hours in queues.


“What this means is that we do not expect anyone to be in the queue for long,” the report quoted Dr. Asare as assuring. “As observed in the special voting, centres that had 600 voters had 80 per cent of them voting around 1:00 pm. Looking at how our verification machines are working excellently, within 20 seconds, the voter should be verified. We are not expecting long queues. The day being a holiday also means that all those who go to the station early in the morning will, at most within one hour, be able to cast their votes.”


With this, Dr. Asare said, it is possible that the official results of the elections would be known within 24 hours from the official end of voting.


Biometrics are a key component of Ghana’s electoral process. Ahead of the vote, the electoral commission chairperson had told the country’s Parliament last month that the body had acquired nearly 75, 000 biometric verification devices to be employed in the voting process.

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