Director of Electoral Services for the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr. Serebour Quainoe in an interview has revealed that the (EC) can neither use their old equipment nor refurbish them for the 2020 general elections.
On his authority, the EC using refurbished equipment for the 2020 parliamentary and general elections can cause a lot of problems in the country.
There has been suggestions from Civil Societies Organizations (CSOs) that it is needless for the EC to acquire a new machine for the 2020 general elections. According to them, the old can be serviced and put to work again.
But speaking in an interview on Happy98.9FM’s Happy Morning Show, Dr.Quaicoe said, “We needed to purchase new machines for the district level elections but we took a risk with it. We refurbished the equipment for the district level election which was not safe for us to do. Though we took that risk for the district level election, we cannot do the same for the 2020 general election.”
According to him, the EC is currently facing some court cases with regard to the district level election because of the risk they took. “We even have over twenty (20) cases regarding the district level elections in court all because we used refurbished machines.”
Defending the need for the EC to get new equipment, Dr. Quaicoe revealed that it would be prudent to acquire a new system rather than refurbish the current one as it would not only be cost-efficient and make operational sense but will also help the commission avoid some needless risks.
However, Dr. Quainoe said the EC has no problem with the current biographic data the EC has. “We have no problems with our biographics (biodata). But the quality of pictures and the fingerprints are not good and cannot be transferred and used for the new verification process, hence the need for compiling a new voter register.”
Decision to Acquire New BVD
The Commission said it took the decision based on the advice of its IT team and external Consultants to the effect that, it would be prudent to acquire a new system rather than refurbish the current system. In the view of the experts, the cost of frequent replacement of failing parts and the renewal of warranties through third-parties was comparable to the acquisition of a brand-new system with full service and warranties. In effect, the amount of money spent on refurbishing parts and renewing warranties could be used to acquire a brand-new system that is robust, modern durable and user-friendly with full functionality and warranties.
A press release from the EC sited by Happy98.9FM stated “It is important to note that the equipment that the entire voter management system runs on, from enrollment, deduplication, and adjudication to voters verification is obsolete and no longer supported by their Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). The report from the immediate past vendors of the solution indicated that the Commission would assume so much needless risks if steps were not taken to change the equipment.”
By: Joel Sanco
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