Mr Haruna Iddrisu, Minority Leader and Member of Parliament for Tamale South has raised issues with discrepancies in the voters’ register in his constituency.
He said the total number of people in the register does not tally with what was recorded during the registration exercise.
Mr Iddrisu, who addressed journalists in Tamale after touring some polling stations in the Tamale South Constituency to observe the voter register exhibition exercise, said there were shortfalls in the number of people on the register exhibited compared to figures recorded by the National Democratic Congress during the voter registration exercise.
He said “In the Tamale South Constituency as I have observed, in the Banvim Presby Area, where 769 voters registered, we are seeing an exhibition and verification of 555, a shortfall of about 200. So there are missing voters on the register.”
He added that “At Jonshegu Primary, where we have 863, I am seeing 823, Zujung Islamic where we have 1,125, I am seeing just about 1,077. So, there are major discrepancies in the register.”
He said similar shortfalls had been recorded at a number of polling stations in the constituency adding “I have requested for a national compilation of these discrepancies to guide what will be our next possible action.”
The Electoral Commission (EC) on Friday began nationwide exhibition of the voters’ register for registered voters to ascertain their names on the register ahead of the December 07, Presidential and Parliamentary elections.
The voter exhibition exercise will end on September 25.
Mr Iddrisu also expressed disappointment at the inability of “The EC to have taken advantage of this exercise to showcase their biometric verification devices (BVDs)."Ideally, every polling station must have a BVD for the voter to identify himself/herself, taking advantage of that equipment because it is the equipment, which will be deployed for the purpose of the elections.”
He said “So, as you have seen, the BVDs are conspicuously absent yet we provided adequate budgetary allocation for the procurement of BVDs in quantities not less than 7,500. Therefore, the normal standard required of the EC would have been that this exercise was undertaken with the availability, the presence and the use and testing of BVDs.”
He raised the question that since there was no BVD at the exhibition centres, “How do you authenticate as I come? It is more like a manual process; just observe that your name is there, and you say your name is there.”
Mr Iddrisu said “You see, the essence is that you took bio-data so the minutiae for facial recognition and minutiae of bio-data of fingerprints are what I should be authenticating not just my name. So the EC must wake up from its slumber and not throw this country into democratic chaos. We have only one opportunity to preserve the democracy and that will be the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.”
He also countered the EC’s position that there was facial recognition during the voter registration exercise saying “I do not think that facial recognition application was inherently and technically present as a feature. Even if it was, that becomes a deployment of facial recognition software to delete and identify multiple registration.”
He added that “That would have been automatic with the facial recognition software. So, whatever facial recognition the EC talked about, which became primarily the basis for a register, leaves more to be desired.”