Ghana will be going to the polls this December to elect a new president and members of parliament. As part of preparations for the election the electoral commission (EC) is undertaking a fresh voter registration exercise using biometric technology. The adoption of a Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) system has become crucial in order to minimise electoral fraud, and to ensure that whoever emerges victor is the true choice of the people.
What is biometric registration and how will it be done? I believe the video below explains the process quite well:
I registered on Easter Sunday at the Abidjan station polling station at Tegbi near Keta. Contrary to reports of a tedious registration process, characterised by long queues, from some parts of Ghana, my experience was pretty smooth. In fact, one woman who was almost done with penning down her name was the only other registrant at the centre when I got there. It took no more than ten minutes to get my brand new voters ID card.
|Going through the Biometric Voter Registration exercise at Tegbi-Keta in the Volta Region|
The staff of the EC were professional and friendly. They took the trouble to answer all my curious and probing questions. From them, I got to know that I was the thirty-second person to register on that day. They're not facing any major technical glitches. Hopefully, as the Easter festivities have ended, more people would go to register in order to participate in the national elections.
|Which card is better? The old one or the new one? #iRegistered|
So, I have my voters ID card, and the power to elect our next leaders, in my hands now. There are many issues to weigh before casting that vote, before determining the direction that Ghana should go in the next four years. The conversations have began. Ghana Decides, a BloggingGhana Election project seeks to promote these important conversations on social media channels. Starting with the iRegistered campaign, their Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + and Flickr pages reveal the amazing efforts being made to engage the youth ahead of this year's elections. Hopefully the often ignored voices of youth, women, physically-challenged and other socially-excluded groups will count during the elections through their efforts. Refreshingly, the likes of Mashable, AJstream, GlobalVoices, Ghana News Agency and the government portal are following keenly what the youth of Ghana are trying to achieve using social media.
For now, I will keep a keen eye on events as they unfold and make my choices based on the real issues, the issues that I and others around me face. Just like every other Ghanaian would do. Go and register if you have not done so yet. Like the cliche goes, "your vote is your power!"