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A Good Intention Gone Bad?


Days ago, the Electoral Commission (EC) published on Google Drive link a list of Ghanaians eligible to exercise their franchise in the December polls.

The details included voters’ names, ages, polling centers as well as Identity numbers.

The move as expected has angered a section of the public raising concerns about data protection issues that may potentially arise.

Even as the public continue to express divergent views, the Chairperson of the Commission EC Jean Mensah has justified the decision to publish full details of persons captured in the electoral roll.

According to her, the Commission breached no law because they are mandated by law to publicly put out the details of registered voters.

She has been quoted as explaining that “C.I. 127 requires that the provisional voters register is published on our website. That same law states that the final register is published in a manner that the Commission deems fit,” she said.

According to her, the development will also ensure transparency in the electoral process.

Probably to give her critics more missiles to fire her, she also revealed that the list has been temporarily pulled down to allow for an upgrade with more enhanced functionalities before subsequently reloading it “in the coming days.”

No matter the intent and the level of transparency that the Commission sought to show, we at THE NEW PUBLISHER dare say that this is bad especially as it has no automatic right to make public details of electorates.

We think that irrespective of the law that empowers the Commission to publish the voters roll, this must be done with some form of caution knowing the times we find ourselves as a country.

For instance, miscreants can use a voter’s details to commit offense in the name of others.

Again, for now the Telcos insist that the voter ID Card is a requirement for SIM card registration and even other banking transactions.

This only leaves us to wonder if the voter ID card that we see as a security number has not be compromised by virtue of the publication of the list by the EC.

In the Face of this, we suggest that the Telcos must as a matter of urgency remove voter ID’s as a requirement for SIM card registration and rather use the National Identity Cards which comes in handy now.

Furthermore, we think that if someone wants to track someone’s movement, the supposed culprits only have to get the list to know where to find his or her target on election day.

Could this be a mere case of a good intention going bad?

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