May 2, 2013 -
Nearly six months after the country’s most recent election, results are still being contested in Ghana in regards to the biometric verification of voters.
Most recently, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the Vice Presidential candidate for Ghana’s New Patriotic Party and a main witness in the on-going petition in front of Ghana’s Supreme Court testified that all voters, even those without fingers or those unreadable fingers, were registered using facial recognition.
According to a report in GhanaWeb, counsel for the Electoral Commission as well as for the National Democratic Congress, “sought to argue that the numbers who voted without being biometrically verified were those who had no fingers or those whose fingerprints could not be captured during the biometric registration.”
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.