November 12, 2012 -
On Monday, the Philippine Senate passed a measure mandating the biometric registration of voters.
Voting 18-0, Bill 1030 was passed and requires voters who haven’t already submitted a biometric profile to appear before an election officer to have their photographs, fingerprints, and signatures processed for upcoming elections.
According to Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the committee on electoral reforms and people’s participation, Bill 1030 “will allow a thorough cleansing of the national voters’ registry that will reduce, if not eliminate, cheating and sure that the result of elections are reflective of the genuine will of the people.”
Biometric voting systems are a growing trend around the world. As Biometric Update reported last month, Brazilian municipal elections have made use of biometric machines to cast votes, relying on a fingerprint scan.
To address fraud in Brazil, if election officials have doubts regarding voter identity or if a fingerprint is not recognized by the biometric system, officials can access a photograph as an alternate token for authentication and it’s likely the system in the Philippines will be similar.
“It is our duty to ensure that the [Commission on Elections] is duty enabled by the laws that we pass to administer clean, honest, fair and credible elections. Otherwise, elections will continue to be manipulated by the unscrupulous, the crooked and the corrupt to the prejudice of our national well-being,” Pimentel said.
What do you think? Are biometrics a feasible solution to circumvent election fraud? Let us know in the comments.