Fiji’s biometric voter registration surpasses half a million

More than half a million voters in Fiji have registered to vote in the upcoming 2014 elections, using a biometric thumbprint registry system.

The Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for Elections, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum said this marks another significant achievement in Fiji’s Electronic Voter Registration (EVR). “We are happy and proud that the Fijan people have shown such a strong commitment to this process,” Sayed Khaiyum said. “The impressive turnout is a clean indication that Fijans are keen to participate in true parliamentary democracy for the first time in Fiji’s history.”

With some registration teams from the outer islands still to report their figures, the current tally for the second round of EVR – which ran from November 10 to December 7 stands at 17,295. This is in addition to the 487,293 who registered during the first round of registration from July to September.

The Fijan Elections Office has employed a biometric voter registration system designed by CODE Inc, a Canadian company. Through the incorporation of biometric safeguards, such as a thumbprint scan, the Republic of Fiji is confident this technology will help to ensure a clean voter list and would eliminate voter fraud during the 2014 elections.

After the first round of registration, 1,441 fraudulent or duplicate entries were found and removed from the registry and the Republic suggests the same process of de-duping and cleansing the voter registry will take place leading up to the 2014 elections.

As reported previously in BiometricUpdate.com, 380 kits were initially purchased from CODE Inc., for US$3.9 million.

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