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Whether You Are ‘FO’ Or Not, You Had To Go Through Verification – Afari Gyan


Photo ReportingWhether You Are ‘FO’ Or Not, You Had To Go Through Verification – Afari Gyan

Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Kwadwo Afari Gyan, on Monday confirmed that the number of “Face Only” voters (FOs) in the register does not really matter with regards to the issue of voters verified by the biometric device as all voters were verified by the biometric voter verification device.

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Dr. Afari Gyan made this disclosure which enforces the point made by main witness of the petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia while being cross examined by lead counsel for the petitioners, Philip Addison.

The FO voters are classified in two broad categories, those who have no fingers, who are classified as people with permanent trauma and those who have fingers but whose fingerprints could not be captured for one reason or the other, who are classified as people with temporal trauma.

The issue of FO voters has become critical in the course of the ongoing Presidential election petition since Counsels for the EC, James Quarshie Idun and Counsel for the NDC, Tsatsu Tsikata especially tried in their cross examination of the main witness for the petitioners, Dr. Bawumia to justify the numbers who were allowed to vote without being verified duly by the biometric device as being people who were classified as face only voters.

These attempts to find a justification for the breach of the law mandating everyone to be verified by the device before being allowed to vote was in sharp contrast to the position of the main witness of the petitioners who insisted in cross examination that each voter was supposed to be verified and that the FO voters were also verified by the device on voting day.

The issue was further heightened during the examination of chief of Dr. Afari Gyan when he sought to contradict the numbers of the petitioners who had indicated that that per the register given them by the EC, the FOs numbered a little over 3,000 by saying that the numbers were over 70,000 giving an indication that the number of FOs were materially relevant in determining those who could vote without being verified.

In his cross examination of the EC Boss, Counsel Addison asked Dr. Afari Gyan about the process those classified as Face Only voters went through at the polling station on election day. Dr. Afari Gyan explained that the FO voters who are people. Dr. Afari Gyan explained that on voting day, once the bar code of the prospective FO voter was scanned on the voters’ register, the device would show the particular voter’s picture with the inscription FO which would mean that the device has properly verified that particular voter whose verification would therefore end at that stage.

Counsel Philip Addison in further clarity from the witness, suggested to the EC Boss that in essence what he was saying was that even the FO voters were verified by the device, a suggestion confirmed by the EC boss.

Counsel Philip Addison further suggested to Dr. Afari Gyan that therefore, whether the FO voters numbered 3,000, 70,000 or 1 million did not matter as they all were verified, a suggestion the EC boss again confirmed.

The clarification provided by the EC boss settles the controversy around the FO voters and puts to rest the matter of whether there were exceptions to the No Verification No Vote rule as contained in the C I 75.

Counsel Philip Addison had earlier gotten confirmation from the EC boss that the Biometric verification device was introduced to enforce the principle of one man, one vote and to ensure that no one voted more than once.

Source: Communications Directorate, NPP/Ghana



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