July 17, 2013 -
The deadline set by the Nepalese Election Commission for biometric voter registration has now passed, and the total number of registered voters is 12.1 million.
According to a report in Republica, there is some disagreement over whether or not this total represents an increase, decrease or parity with previous elections.
“According to the latest census report, the total population of those above 18 years is 16.4 million and the latest economic survey conducted by the government shows that 3 million people are abroad for employment while we have registered 12.1 million voters,” Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav said in the Republica report.
The Commissioner also argued that with the new biometric registry, duplication isn’t a problem and in fact, de-duplication saw names removed from the list.
The Electoral Commission began registering voter biometrics in 2010, and the final list is expected before the end of the year.
Around the world, and particularly in emerging economies, biometrics are a part of the election experience, though some high-profile elections as of late have been riddled with problems and distrust (and misuse) of the technology.
In December, 2012, Ghana held an election using biometric verification devices as the world watched with baited breath. Now, nearly six months after the country’s election, results are still being contested, following much confusion over the status of verification machines during and after the election in Ghana.
Reported previously, Henrique Capriles Radonski, leader of the opposition in Venezuela, has demanded an audit of the entire election including fingerprints stored in the election registry, following his party’s loss by less than 2 percent in the country’s recent presidential elections.
Also, following an election in Kenya using biometric verification, the machines were heavily criticized for technical problems which led to long delays and in many cases, non-functional verification devices.