April 9, 2014 -
The Electoral Commission of Ghana says it has successfully upgraded the Biometric Verification Machines used in the 2012 general elections to prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly.
EC director of training Augustine Okrah recently spoke about the upgrade of the machines at the Regional Consultative Forum on the Public Elections Regulations (C.I.75), explaining that “once the machine says verified, one can in no way vote at a different polling station”.
He assured attendees that after the upgrade, the machines were successfully used to manage district assembly elections in Lower Manya Krobo in the Eastern Region without any problems.
Okrah said the majority of the issues involving the machines related to them automatically turning off, without warning, when their batteries depleted.
The forum was designed to take suggestions from the stakeholders with particular focus on how the EC could most effectively resolve any issues and weaknesses regarding the 2012 elections.
The new upgrade ensures that the machines would notify the electoral officer when the battery is running low so it can be replaced manually to prevent an automatic shutdown, said Okrah.
He also added that provisions are currently being made to equip all 26,004 polling stations in the country with two more upgraded machines for backup purposes.