May 31, 2013 -
As the election petition trial continues in Ghana, the chairman of the electoral commission Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan told the Supreme Court that there were close to 80,000 voters who voted using only face recognition, as their fingerprints were unable to be captured.
Initially, there had been some confusion regarding the number of voters who voted without the biometric machines. Reported in Ghanaweb.com, the chairman explained that those unable to use the machines fell into two categories: those with no fingers at all, and those with fingers that couldn’t be read by the machine.
Reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, the General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party in Ghana called on the electoral commission in the country to clarify the status of all biometric verification machines used in the country’s Dec. 7 election, following reports of mysterious instructions to reset biometric machines to zero verification at polling stations.
Showing an extremely close result, the National Democratic Congress party’s John Dramani Mahama won the election with 50.7% of the vote.
As of yet, it’s unclear what will come of this trial, and whether it will have an impact on the results from December 2012, but it’s worth noting this isn’t the only instance in which the biometric system used to verify voters has been called into question after-the-fact.
Reported previously, Henrique Capriles Radonski, leader of the opposition in Venezuela, has demanded an audit of the entire election including fingerprints stored in the election registry, following his party’s loss by less than 2 percent in the country’s recent presidential elections.
Also, following an election in Kenya using biometric verification, the machines were heavily criticized for technical problems which led to long delays and in many cases, non-functional verification devices.