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In Ghana, a non-working verification machine means no voting

The Electoral Commission of Ghana has announced that voting will be suspended at any polling station should the biometric verification machine break down, myjoyonline.com reports.

This news comes after reports of fraud and a poor turnout to test the new biometric identity cards for voters in Ghana earlier this month.

According to the Ghanaian government website, biometric voter identification cards contain 10 fingerprints, a headshot, as well as standard biographical data.

Dr. Kwando Afari Gyan, chairman of the Electoral Commission suggests that voting must be suspended in instances where the verification system breaks down to maintain credibility of the polls and to reduce the possibility of unnecessary confrontation on voting day. Additionally, this new biometric verification system has been passed into law for the December 7 elections and as a result, voting cannot proceed without the verification machine.

The two main political parties in Ghana have also already butted heads about the verification machines, previous to this week’s forgery allegations.

According to Ghanaweb.com, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) were calling for the use of the machines to guard against multiple voting, yet the National Democratic Congress (NDC) argued the machines will only make the electoral process cumbersome.

With less than 3 weeks to the polls, it has also been announced that the number of available polling stations has been increased from 23,000 to roughly 26,000, as 14 million voters are expected to take part in the December 7 election.

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