CDD cautions against abuse of manual verification during 2016 polls

The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) has lauded the decision to complement biometric verification with manual verification in next year’s general elections, but cautioned against abuse of the discretion.

Deputy Director of the agency, Franklyn Oduro, says it is likely that polling officials in the rural areas may even put aside the verification machines and do manual verification only.

“It’s a good thing but what we need to avoid is excessive discretion on the part of polling officials in terms of who can be verified manually and who can be verified with the machine,” he said.

At an Inter-Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) meeting Tuesday, representatives of political parties agreed to allow manual voter verification during the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.

This will be done for voters whose particulars appear in the voters register but may be rejected by the biometric verification machines.

The Committee also set out a definition for over-voting on Tuesday.

“Over-voting would be deemed to have occurred where the number of ballots in the ballot box exceeds the number of verified voters,” was the definition set by the political parties.

Also due to budgetary constraints, the polling stations have been reduced from 30,000 to 29,000.

Commenting on the reduction in the number of polling stations, Dr Oduro said the Electoral Commission (EC) would still “meet the objectives of reducing the huge number of voters at polling stations.”

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