October 8, 2015 -
Cambodia’s National Election Committee (NEC) announced it will begin piloting biometric voter registration in each of the provinces on November 1 in advance of the country’s national registration next year, according to a report by The Cambodia Daily.
The NEC will establish voter registration centers at 41 villages where it will unofficially register about 32,500 people during the two-week pilot project.
The agency will select one commune from each of the 24 provinces and Phnom Penh, with a combination of rural and urban communes to achieve results that are representative of the country’s population.
NEC deputy chairman Kuoy Bunroeun said that the pilot would test a new system that is set to rebuild Cambodia’s voter registration list.
The CNRP reported numerous irregularities in the voter lists used in the 2013 election, including hundreds of thousands of names that were either missing or listed more than once.
The NEC is now working to recompile the lists using biometric data such as photos and fingerprints.
“The first purpose is that we want to implement the administrative procedures and see whether or not the administrative mechanisms will work smoothly in terms of the people coming to register—the documents, the fingerprint collection, and so on,” said Bunroeun.
“The second purpose is to see whether or not the capacity of the computerized voter registration works well or not in terms of data management, voter name verification … and the double name issue. Mainly, it’s to see whether or not the capacity of the data management is strong enough to prevent insiders or outsiders from destroying voter registration data.”
Those individuals who register in the pilot project will still be required to officially register next year, said Bunroeun.
Although many Cambodians do not have valid national ID cards, which are required for registration, the Interior Ministry recently introduced a new rule that will allow people to use expired national ID cards to register.