March 9, 2015 -
New Mexico State Senator and Minority Whip Bill Payne requested the secretary of state to consider implementing biometric measures, such as iris scans and thumbprint recognition, to curb potential voter fraud in New Mexico’s state elections, according to a report by KOB 4.
“The state-of-the-art technology is here. Anyone who watches the NCIS TV drama series can tell you that modern technology is commonly used for authentication purposes,” Payne said in a statement. “Could it make sense for voter ID in New Mexico? I am the asking that the benefits, feasibility, and the costs of implementing a voter ID system based on biometric measures be studied.”
Deploying these biometric methods would provide a credible way for voters to verify their identity without having to invest in a photo ID, said Payne.
“This could put to rest the criticism that voters cannot afford to produce a reliable photo identification when they vote,” he said. “Everyone has an eyeball or thumb that could be scanned for identification.”
However, opponents of the idea say some voters could feel intimidated by having to give their biometric information to a government-run database. They also question what would happen in the event of a data breach.