The introduction of DAS, NIC and the diminution of vote rigging

DAS NIC The Digital Address System and National Identification Card will minimise future vote rigging

Thu, 2 Nov 2017 Source: K. Badu, UK

In today’s global competitiveness amid evolving technology, it is, indeed, a step in the right direction for any authority to invest wisely in technology.

It is for this reason that I would like to beseech all well-meaning Ghanaians to come together and extol the NPP government for introducing the Digital Address System and the National Identification Card.

Of course, one would have expected the successive governments to pay particular attention to such a forward-looking venture, but disappointingly, failed to act accordingly.

The benefits of such data, so to speak, are crucial to Ghana’s advancement.

Take, for example, in future, population census could be enhanced through the introduction of the aforesaid data.

It is, as a matter of fact, extremely important for any country to have an idea of its total population so as to facilitate the implementation of policies and programmes.

Besides, the introduction of national data will facilitate tax collection as potential evaders could be tracked easily.

More importantly, the emergence of national data and future introduction of crime data will enhance the law enforcement bodies efforts to apprehend suspects.

Personally, I hold a firm conviction that the introduction of the Digital Address System and the National Identification Card will go a long way to minimise future vote rigging.

For instance, in the United Kingdom where I am more conversant with the system, the size of every household is mostly known to the authorities as a result of the availability of data.

More recently, my son turned eighteen years, and, subsequently, I received a letter from my local authority, requesting me to update the number of voters in my household.

Of course, every lawful resident in the United Kingdom is known to the authorities, and so is the number of voters in every household.

Apparently, the system has made it possible for some of us to cast our ballots from the comfort of our homes.

Indeed, I am a registered mail voter. This means that I do not need to travel to a polling station to cast my ballot on an election day.

Rightly so, no system is completely perfect, but let us be honest, some are better than others.

To me, it would be unthinkable for anybody to repudiate the proven cases of voracious vote rigging in contemporary general elections, notwithstanding the electoral fraudsters demonstrable infernal instruments of vote rigging.

There is no denying or hiding the fact that electoral cheats will do everything possible to devise a diabolical scheme to gain electoral advantage over their opponents.

A typical example is when in 2013, a Councillor from Manchester in the United Kingdom disowned his daughter who was his opponent in local council elections as a result of electoral fraud.

His daughter, who represented the Labour Party, came victorious in the county council elections. However, her father who was the incumbent and the representative of the UK Independent Party uncovered electoral malpractices and reported the matter to the police.

However, her father discovered that she had earlier registered four voters from another country in her home address.

And in an attempt to exonerate themselves from the opprobrium, the leadership of the Labour party went ahead and dismissed the ignominious electoral fraudster.

In my humble opinion, vote rigging has a perceptible likeness to a violation of allegiance to a sovereign nation. Thus, frankly speaking, any measures that can check such a high crime must not and cannot be trampled upon perfunctorily.

The worst part of votes rigging, though, is the deserving winners’ may never know they ever won. How cruel, how pathetic and how unfair that would be?

I have said time and time again that it is unacceptable for the electorates to go to the polls with a view to voting for their preferred candidate and only for the people behind the scenes to select who should become a winner.

In sum, it is my fervent hope that the introduction of the National Address System and Identity Card will help circumscribe the menace of vote rigging futuristically.

Columnist: K. Badu, UK
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