April 10, 2017
Chief Electoral Commissioner
National Electoral Commission
Dear Mr. N’fa Conteh,
Clarification on the Biometric Voter Registration
I write with reference to my letter dated March 20, 2017 seeking clarifications on some issues relating to the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR). The Chairman, SLPP National Registration Committee, Mr. Jacob Jusu Saffa also reminded you of the letter in the last Political Parties Liaison Committee (PPLC) meeting on March 29, 2017 where you promised to reply. Regrettably, for over three (3) weeks since the letter was written, you have not replied to our letter. On behalf of the SLPP, I would like to express our disappointment for your failure to respond to the letter to date and to state that this act is against the spirit of transparency and partnership which are essential fundamentals of a free and fair electoral process.
While awaiting to hear from you, let me reproduce the following questions in this follow-up letter:
- How many machines were imported for this process?
- Can you make available to political parties the serial numbers of the machines by district?
- What is the distribution of backup machines per district?
- Are the machines distributed serially by district? Can that be shared with the political parties?
- Is it possible to retrieve data from the machines?
- Who are the manufacturers of the machines and server?
- How is the data collation done? Is it centralized or decentralised? If decentralised, will it be carried out at district or region level?
- How frequently will collation of data be done?
- What is the capacity of each machine or literally, how many persons can it accommodate? Are the capacity of all machines the same?
- How secured is the data? Where is the server located?
- Is it true that the data will be transmitted to the server at the National Civil Registration Authority as the registration progresses?
- If no in xi, when will the data be provided to NCRA?
- When will matching be done? How many political party agents would you require for matching
Let me hasten to reiterate that the responsibility of voter registration is solely the business of the National Electoral Commission (NEC). This means that NEC does not only conduct the physical registration of voters, but stores the data in its own server, conduct matching to check for duplication in the presence of party agents knowledgeable in Biometrics, exhibit the voter registration and issue Voter ID cards. Additionally, the SLPP wishes to emphasise that only the final voter register will be submitted to the National Civil Registration Authority (NCRA) and the Political Parties. The SLPP abhors any attempt by the NEC to share the data on voters with any other authority before matching is finalised.
I have now taken the liberty to copy development partners, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Press.
We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.
Ambassador Ali Badara Kamara
National Secretary General
Copy: National Chairman and Leader
Deputy National Chairman and Leader
Chairman, National Registration Committee
National Elections Watch
Civil Society Organisations