Dr. Bawumia’s Aide: EC Defense Of Voting Without Verification ‘Backfires’.
Attempts by the Lawyers of the Electoral Commission to justify the widespread occurrence of voting without biometric verification, on Thursday, backfired as the main witness for the Petitioners, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, proved that the apparent justification could not stand the test of the facts behind the case.
On his second day of cross examining Dr. Bawumia, Counsel Quarshie-Idun sought to rationalize the occurrence of voting without biometric verification by suggesting that the law and reality meant that certain persons like the disabled were exempt from biometric verification. This ostensibly was to pave the way for the EC to justify the over 535,000 people who according to evidence on the face of the pink sheets were allowed to vote across the country without going through biometric verification.
However to his surprise, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who was as usual on top of the issues and numbers, pointed out that the law indeed allows people with trauma or the disabled to vote without being verified. The total number of these persons, according to EC figures and pointed out by Dr Bawumia, come up with only 3,176 people who are spread in only three regions of the country.
Obviously baffled by the response of Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, who flawed the attempted justification of the obvious violation in allowing people to vote without going through biometric verification, Counsel Quarshie-Idun had to put an end to that line of questioning and even stop Dr. Bawumia from giving the statistics on the disabled and traumatized as well as a few others who were legally allowed to vote without going through biometric verification.
Dr. Bawumia explained that all such people who could have voted without going through biometric verification were indicated in the voters’ register, adding that the letters “FO” was indicated against the names of all such persons in the voters register.
He noted that such people came up with only 3,176 people and proceeded to give the breakdown of their spread. He stated that the 3,716 people were spread in only 3 regions – the Volta, central and western regions, an answer described by the President of the Court, William Atuguba as a “learned answer” after Counsel Quarshie-Idun beat a quick retreat and tried to stop Dr. Bawumia from giving the breakdown.
The next line of questioning for the Electoral Commission’s lawyer was to follow the trail of the lawyer of John Mahama by trying to blame errors.
Lawyer Quarshie-Idun brought out one of the pink sheets exhibited by the Petitioners which showed that all 81 people who voted at the particular polling station did so without going through biometric verification. He sought to blame errors in this information evident on the face of the pink sheet but Dr. Bawumia quickly countered that the two of them were not at the particular polling station.
Counsel for the EC who had suggested that the numbers on the pink sheets were errors because an addition of the total number of people who were given ballot papers and the total number of people who voted without being verified would be higher than the voters at the polling station was quickly educated by Dr. Bawumia who made it clear, that that arithmetic was very wrong as the two sets of people were the same and that adding the numbers would mean one was double counting.
“Counsel, that is wrong because those who were issued ballots and those who voted without biometric verification are not different sets of people but the same and thus it would be wrong for anyone to make an addition, such an addition would only mean one is double counting”, he said.
By: Kwabena Boadu, Press Secretary to Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia