The Chairperson of the Electoral Commission (EC), Jean Mensa has stressed the need to ‘address the high costs of our elections’.
She opined that relying on developing partners to partly fund or lessen the burden of the cost of elections in Ghana compromises the independence of the elections; hence more work must be done to address such issues.
Ms Mensa speaking at the 17th international electoral affairs symposium said “our elections are fast becoming a very expensive venture and we constantly have to rely on development partners to fund this thereby compromising our independence. In 2016 for example, the cost of elections in Ghana was $12.03 per voter, compared to $9.33 per voter in Nigeria (2015) and $5 per voter in Tanzania (2015)”.
According to her, while the EC has made significant progress towards perfecting its systems and processes in the last two decades, more work must be done to address the high costs of our elections and the challenge of building institutional capacity.
“For us at the Electoral Commission of Ghana, we are keen to learn about advances made in the area of technology, having operated the same biometric registration and voting systems for the last ten years. How can we leapfrog and begin to use new technologies in our electoral process?
What new biometric systems are the most efficient and most reliable? Since our assumption of office we have been concerned about the high cost associated with the procurement of hardware namely biometric registration and verification devices used in the electoral process. Therefore feedback and information on efficient systems and equipment that provide value for money will be useful to this meeting” she added.