August 8, 2012 -
According to a recent editorial in the New Zimbabwe newspaper, election fraud and rampant cheating has always hounded elections in Zimbabwe and Africa, in general. Furthermore, election officials and other notable personalities have been accused of vote rigging and manipulation in the past. Presently, the Zimbabwe government is utilizing advanced biometric technology in the hopes to give the electoral process accountability and transparency. Adapting a cost effective and simple technology is one good way to solve the many election related problems plaguing the government.
Biometric technology is said to be one of the most reliable and secure methods that can be used in an election. Biometrics is the study of unique human features, which are then used to verify identity. Usually, these unique features being used are the fingerprints, iris scans, facial features, voice recognition and even behavioral biometrics such as gait, posture and signature. Biometrics technology, on the other hand, is the conversation of those unique human characteristics into computerized automatic identification of people.
The implementation of a biometrics system that is fully automated means that there is less chance of cheating during the elections. It eliminates the possibility of those who are already in the afterlife from voting, prevents padded or inflated results and decreases the chance of voters casting their ballots twice. A voting procedure that is strict and reliable will be able to yield credible results after the electoral process is completed.
Zimbabwe is not alone in its quest for a fully automated election. Other African nations also keen on adapting the technologies for their national elections are: Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, Namibia and Mozambique. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is the government branch that has the constitutional and pivotal role in automating the coming elections.
What are the possible complications of having an automated election?