The Electoral Commission (EC) has launched a Short Message Service (SMS) platform for voters to electronically check their biometric registration details at a cost of 30GHp.
Any mobile subscriber who text the ten digit voter identity number on his or her biometric identity card or the receipts to the short code 1413 of any of the six networks, the voter will receive a feedback containing his or her name, voter identity card number, age, sex, polling station, constituency, district and region where he or she is supposed to vote.
The information received, excludes the photograph of the voter. At the end of every SMS response, the voter is advised to report any errors in the details to the exhibition officer at the registration centre where the registration took place.
The move is a collaborative effort between the EC and Mobilecontent.com. But the two bodies did not mention how the proceeds from the 30GHp each person will spend will be shared.
Voters who send incorrect voter ID or non-exiting ID will receive a respond indicating that “This number is not in the provisional register.” Immediately, such a response is received the voter must move physically with his or her voters identity card to the polling stations for the necessary correction to be effected.
According to a Deputy Chairman of the EC, Mr Sulley Amadu, the SMS platform was not a substitute for voters to physically go to their respective polling stations to crosscheck their names to ensure that their details were correct.
He explained that the SMS platform was just to afford the electorates the opportunity to check their details and if there were any inaccuracies, move physically to the polling stations to effect all the necessary changes.
Reacting to low turnout at the various exhibition centres, Mr Sulley explained that “most of our exhibitions over the years had been characterised with low turnout” explaining that this was the case not because of lack of inadequate publicity, but some voters believe that once they had registered, their names will be on the roll.
He said physically checking one’s details at the registration centres was an exercise to ensure that voters get to know the exact place they will cast their votes.
He assured the electorate not to be worried about the security of their data because the commission had put in place measures to secure the security and integrity of individual data.
Explaining the modalities involved, the General Manager of Mobile content, Mr Conrad A. Nyuur, said a response would be received “in real time” when an SMS was sent to the 1413 on any of the mobile networks.
Asked about how much of the proceeds will go to the EC, he said that was something between the EC and his outfit but was quick to add that they would pay tax to the state.