Biometric voter enrollment engenders rewards and risks

Ensuring quick and precise voter enrollment and identification is the cornerstone of any credible election. Biometric systems are increasingly being deployed in the developing world with the aim to ensure a fair and efficient electoral process. In rich countries, almost everyone has a reliable form of official identification, and biometric technology has traditionally been employed mainly for security and forensics. However, many developing countries suffer from an identity gap where millions of people lack official forms of identification, including birth

Electoral Commission of Ghana Upgrades Biometric Verification Machines

The Electoral Commission of Ghana says it has successfully upgraded the Biometric Verification Machines used in the 2012 general elections to prevent them from shutting down unexpectedly. EC director of training Augustine Okrah recently spoke about the upgrade of the machines at the Regional Consultative Forum on the Public Elections Regulations (C.I.75), explaining that “once the machine says verified, one can in no way vote at a different polling station”. He assured attendees that after the upgrade, the machines were

Burkina Faso completes voter registry, Innovatrics and Gemalto technology used

The Electoral Commision in Burkina Faso has just completed its biometric voter registry, and as Innovatrics has just announced, its WebAFIS Deduplication services played an integral role in the process, led by Gemalto. “The Burkina Faso Elections project is deemed to be a great success, we wholeheartedly recommend Innovatrics’ WebAFIS technology to any client requiring reliable large-scale fingerprint matching solution accompanied by a dedicated team and support,” Tall Nouroudina, Director of IT for the electoral commission said. Innovatrics’ WebAFIS software integrated

9 million voters have not registered biometrics for 2016 election: Philippine Comelec

The Commission on Elections in the Philippines (Comelec) estimates that there are over 9 million voters in the country that have not yet registered biometrics, and that will need to do so in order to vote in 2016. Though 2016 is nearly 3 years away, 9 million voters is a significant constituency. Reported in, Comelec is set to undergo a program in which voters without biometric registration can go to Cemelec offices to have their data collected, before the

Colombia to use biometric voter registration for 2014 elections

Colombia has secured financing to implement a biometric registry for the country’s upcoming 2014 elections. Reported in, fraud has been an issue in the past and is what has led the country to biometric verification for voters. In 2011, many investigations were launched following reports of election fraud and in it was discovered that 4 million dead voters wrongfully existed in the registry. “We have agreed that on this matter there will be no more setbacks and … in

Smartmatic appoints Marco Hubert as president of EMEA operations

Smartmatic has announced the appointment of Marco Huberts as its new President of its European, Middle East and African operations (EMEA). “It’s a great pleasure for me to welcome Marco to our management team. His experience and leadership will help our growth in these markets, helping forward-thinking electoral commissions to embrace projects toward more transparent, more efficient and more secure elections”, Antonio Mugica, CEO of Smartmatic said. Hubert will be tasked broadly with undertaking the responsibility of developing Smartmatic’s opportunities throughout EMEA,

Georgia considers biometric voter registration

Georgia is currently considering the use of biometrics voter registration for its 2014 elections. Reported in, a cross-faction group presented a proposalin parliament regarding a new biometric election system, including their recommendations for managing the republic’s voter list. Currently, the biometric data of 750,000 citizens exist in state databases, and the current total population in the republic is nearly 4.7 million. According to the DFwatch report, the group which presented the proposal for a biometric system suggested collecting the

Tanzanian Government endorses NEC plans for biometric electoral system

The Tanzanian government has officially endorsed the National Electoral Commission’s plans to use a biometric electoral system for the country’s upcoming elections in 2015. Reported previously in, NEC chairman Damian Lubuva made comments suggesting the commission is planning to float tenders for the acquisition earlier this week. Many countries are implementing or have already used biometric systems for elections, and in particular, both Kenya and Ghana have recently completed elections using biometric verification devices. Kenya’s election was plagued by

Tanzania looks to implement biometric system for 2015 election

Tanzania’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has confirmed that plans are in place to use a biometric electoral system for the country’s upcoming 2015 elections. According to a report in NZweek, NEC chairman Damian Lubuva said the commission is planning to float tenders for the acquisition of the system, and has said that the NEC will invite donors to fund the procurement and installation of the system. Deflecting criticism that the government has not been transparent in this decision-making, Lubuva said:

Coalition calls for biometric system in Nigerian election

The Coalition of Democrats for Electoral Reform in Nigeria has demanded the adoption of biometrics for the 2015 elections in the country, following a meeting in the nation’s capital earlier this week. The meeting was well-attended, with development experts from sub-Saharan Africa in attendance, and biometrics was widely identified as one of the safest measures for ensuring a transparent electoral process. Reported in, a Councillor from the Kenyan Embassy, Michael Miriti noted that although the biometric system used in