Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the main witness of the petitioners in the ongoing Supreme Court petition challenging the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the December 7, 2012 Elections, informed Counsel for the 3rdrespondent, Tsatsu Tsikata and the Court that the biometric verification device actually verified disabled voters who had no fingers.
Dr. Bawumia, who was in the witness box for the 8th day running, informed the court that page 14 of the Biometric verification device manual of the Electoral commission indicates that voters whose fingerprints could not be captured during the biometric registration, as a result of disability or trauma or other causes, were to be verified by face only by the biometric verification device.
According to the Electoral Commission, as stated in Page 14 of its Biometric Verification Device Manual authored for the purposes of detailing the operations of the Biometric verification device states, “In some instances the device will verify the voter by face only. This happens when none of the voter’s fingers was captured during the registration”.
On the basis of this, Dr Bawumia noted that the verification by the biometric verification device, using facial only (FO), meant that it was impossible for any of the respondents to argue that those who voted without being verified by the biometric device were the disabled and those without fingers.
Counsel for the Electoral Commission, James Quashie-Idun and Counsel for the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Tsatsu-Tsikata had all sought to argue that the numbers who voted without being biometrically verified were those who had no fingers or those whose fingerprints could not be captured during the biometric registration.
Indeed, Counsel Tsatsu-Tsikata had argued on Monday that because those without fingers voted without being biometrically verified by the device, it was impossible to tell on the face of the pink sheets if those who voted without being verified as is stated in section C3 of the form were legally mandated to do so or not and suggested that the petitioners could therefore not conclude that all such incidents of voting without biometric verification was illegal.
Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia had stated in his evidence in chief that the number of people whose fingerprints could not be captured as a result of disability or trauma totaled 3,196 voters and that even assuming that all those indeed voted without going through biometric verification, it could not justify the 535,723 persons who on the face of the pink sheets are recorded as having voted without being verified by the biometric device.
Nonetheless the operation of the biometric device as quoted in the manual denotes that all such persons were indeed also verified by the device by face only once the barcodes by their names on the voters’ register were scanned and that they were actually recorded by the device as having being verified.
This, to all intents and purposes, is the reason why the Electoral Commission before the elections made it clear that everyone was supposed to be verified by the device and made no exceptions to this rule.