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Voter Registration: We have obtained the serial numbers of the BVR kits – Kofi Adams

Kofi Adams

Buem lawmaker Kofi Adams has revealed that the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has been able to obtain the serial numbers of Biometric Verification Registration (BVR) kits being used in the ongoing voter registration exercise even though the commission denied them access.

He said they got the numbers through their own investigations.

“We have the serial numbers, so we just want to tell anybody who may be a member of any game to introduce those machines into the system that it will not happen,” he said he said on the Key Points on TV3 Saturday, May 11.

The Electoral Commission (EC) had declined their request for serial numbers after stating that it was too risky to do that.

“The Electoral Commission wishes to address the NDC’s request for serial numbers of Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) Kits currently deployed in the field for the Limited Voters Registration Exercise. The Commission wishes to highlight that the integrity and security of our electoral processes are paramount. Each BVR Kit, as a critical component of this process, is assigned a unique serial number.

This number plays a crucial role in the operation of these devices, particularly in the generation of activation codes essential for their functionality as well as tracking their location and movement. Releasing these serial numbers to any external parties, including political entities, poses a substantial risk to the security and integrity of our registration processes. That is why this has never been done since biometric voting system was introduced in Ghana,” the EC stated in a press release dated May 9, 2024 and signed by the Ag. Director of Public Affairs, Michael Boadu.

Although the EC’s press release did not state categorically when and how the NDC made the request, it would be recalled that during its ‘Moment of Truth’ series on April 15, 2024, the NDC’s General Secretary, Fifi Kwetey, posed 35 questions to the Electoral Commision in respect of a reported missing BVRs. Question number 4 read, “What are the serial numbers of the kits under discussion?”

The party’s National Chairman, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah explained on May 9 that because it did not receive any answers from the Commission, “The NDC tasked its registration agents across the country to record the serial numbers of all BVR kits that will be deployed by the EC.”

However, in its press release, the Commission named the specific risks for which reason the serial numbers cannot be disclosed as follows:

1. Compromise of Kit Security: The serial numbers are integral to the security framework of the BVR Kits. Disclosure of these numbers could potentially allow unauthorized access to the devices, thereby compromising integrity of the voter registration process.

2. Targeted Manipulation Risks: Knowledge of the serial numbers could enable targeted attacks on specific BVR kits located at certain parts of the country, thereby causing chaos, political conllict and operational challenges.

3. Phishing and Fraud: Serial numbers could be used to facilitate fraudulent activities, including phishing attacks, where a criminal with the serial number can trick EC personnel into believing they are registration officials, potentially leading to unauthorized disclosures and access to sensitive information.

4. Operational Integrity: The Electoral Commission maintains a structured protocol for the activation and operation of BVR Kits, designed to ensure that all devices are used solely for their intended purpose and by authorized personnel only. Disclosing serial numbers disrupts this protocol and endangers the operational integrity of our electoral system.

“Given the above potential risks that disclosing serial numbers of BVR kits could pose, it is pertinent for stakeholders to address their minds to Section 7, Subsection 1(j) of the Right to Information Act, 2019 (Act 989), which provides in part as follows: “Information is exempt from disclosure where the information contains matters which if disclosed can reasonably be expected to…endanger…a system including computer and communication systems for which security is reasonably required,”Mr Boadu wrote.

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