Martin K. N. Kollie, a social media influencer and a strong supporter of the major opposition Unity Party, has posted that agents have been sent to scan voters’ cards for US$30. He has called on his followers not to enter their card numbers into the National Elections Commission (NEC) database.
“They have sent their agents to scan your card and to pay $30 for it. Do not give your card to anyone who is outside. Do not enter your card # into any “NEC Database”. They are panicked by the massive turnout.”
The post within an hour generated 212 comments, 120 shares, and 227 reactions.
The Stage Media first tried to verify whether there was an ongoing scanning of voter cards.
This claim is true, but we have established that scanning the card in non-biometric elections poses no threat to the process or does not stop an individual from participating independently.
The voter card scanning does not cancel a person’s information from the system or transfer their vote to another person without them casting their vote.
TSM listened to Henry Flomo, NEC communication director, during a live interview on Spoon TV and said there is no problem when a voting card is scanned.
Flomo added, “We are not having digital elections.”
Dorbor Brown, an IT specialist, told TSM that the scanning of the voting card would provide available information within the system.
According to Brown, “the scanning of the voting card is just to tell you what information is there, and since it is not a biometric election, there is no problem. We are not having a digital election; it is on paper, and therefore, there is no risk for someone to scan your voting card.”
TSM also checked various websites, but there is no available data that indicates the risk of scanning voters’ cards in a non-biometric election without casting votes.
Conclusion: Since the vote has been cast manually and the checking is not done through biometric means, the scanning of the card does not pose any risk to a voter. However, we did not verify the amount of US$30 that was given as scanning fees.