ICT Africa Headline News

Ghana Can't Go E-Voting - Afari Gyan

05 March, 2013
Issah Alhassan, The Chronicle
March 5, 2013

Kumasi — THE EMBATTLED Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, has cast doubts over Ghana's ability to implement an electronic voting system in the not too distance future.

The under fire EC boss says the country should not even entertain the idea of implementing an E-voting system, considering the multiple inconsistencies that were witnessed in the 2012 general elections.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, who was responding to suggestions made by some participants at a Review Meeting Organized by the Commission and other foreign partners about the need for the country to adopt an Electronic Voting System, as a means of preventing all forms of electoral fraud, said the country was not ready, at least, not in the few years, for any additional technological system in voting.

The function was attended by representatives from the various political parties, including NPP, NDC, PPP, the security agencies and civil society groups.

Dr. Afari-Gyan said the E-voting system, which is an offshoot of Biometric Registration System, is a term encompassing several different types of voting, embracing both electronic means of casting a vote and electronic means of counting votes.

Considering several irregularities that have bedeviled the country's voting system, there have been calls for the Electoral Commission to consider an e-voting as a means of enhancing credibility of the electoral process.

But the chairman of the Commission, whose outfit has been sued at the Supreme Court by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) challenging the results of the 2012 presidential polls, opposes the move on the principle that there are too many problems that ought to be tackled under the biometric system before any idea of e-voting is entertained.

Dr. Afari-Gyan, who refused to be drawn into the controversy surrounding the recently held elections, contended that Ghana had gone through several electoral reforms, ranging from the use of opaque ballot boxes to transparent boxes, stressing however that such reforms took many years to implement.

He, therefore, noted that an advance system like e-voting would be too complicated for this country, considering the many challenges witnessed under the biometric and verification registration project.

"We should be careful not rushing to get additional technology to the existing one; it will open ourselves to deeper controversy," he emphasized.

The Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Augustine Gyening attributed the numerous security challenges that were witnessed in the run up to the election to failure on the part of the Commission to actively involve the police in its activities.

He mentioned especially, incidents that occurred during the registration process and stressed the need for the EC and the security to collaborate effectively in ensuring peaceful and incident free electoral process.

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