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Abeka Presbyterian Church Goes eVoting
Accra, July 28 - The Abeka Presbyterian Congregation in Accra (Ghana) at the weekend used electronic voting to elect new Presbyters (Elders) to undertake various roles in the church.
More than 600 card-bearing members of the church used Splash Technology's eVoteminder, a specialized suite of computer haware and software, to elect the 25 Presbyters.
Reverend Michael Anim-Tetey, Abeka District Minister in charge of the Abeka Congregation, told the Ghana News Agency on the side-lines of the elections, that e-voting (evoting) was a departure from the manual voting process.
He said the innovation would prevent the cumbersome collation of results, which at times take three days, leading to some voters doubting the credibility of the results. With eVoteMinder, results are collated instantly at the close of polls.
Rev Anim-Tetey said the exercise is also cost effective since the cost of printing volumes of ballot papers in the manual voting system, is eliminated.
He recommended the electronic voting process (evoting) to other churches and organisations, which want to conduct elections in a free and fair manner.
"I have voted and can testify that the process is intuitive, easy and fast. I advise all church leaders to use the eVoteminder system to conduct their elections," Rev Tetey said.
Nii Adjei Adjetey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Splash Technology, an ICT software development group, said his outfit introduced the eVoteminder evoting system in Ghana in October, 2013; with the aim of assisting organisations to conduct elections in a transparent, fast and cost-effective manner.
According to him, research conducted by his organisation has shown that at least one-third of ballot papers printed for most of elections are not used during the intended elections, resulting in loss of financial resources that could be channelled to other projects.
Nii Adjetey said unlike the manual voting process, the electronic voting system via the eVoteminder is fast and cost effective as there is no need to print volumes of ballot papers.
He said operating the evoting machine requires no special computer skills or training as voters only need to thumbprint beside the photos or symbols of candidates of their choice on eVoteMinderís specialised equipment, just as it is done on ballots papers.
"The system is secure and free from manipulation and the voting process is much faster than manual voting," he added.
The CEO of Splash Technology, therefore, recommended to the government and Ghanaians to take a second look at the countryís election processes and switch to e-voting system.
"It is important that people have confidence in the governance system through clean and clear elections," he added.
Mr Otu Anim, a member of the church after casting his vote, told the GNA that he preferred the electronic voting to the manual voting process adding, "it is fast."
External monitors from the Apenkwa and Teshie Districts of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana monitored the voting process as stipulated by the Constitution of the Church.
With files from Ghana News Agency - GNA