Southern African Development Community countries slowly adopting biometric voting systems

Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are slowly adopting a biometric voting system, as the region increases efforts to promote the use of biometric technology to increase the credibility of their electoral process, according to a report by The Southern Times. Previously reported, the Democratic Republic of Congo contracted Gemalto to provide 22,000 mobile biometric voter enrolment kits to the electoral body for the upcoming elections in November. Along with the DRC, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi have

Gemalto to establish biometric register for Congo government

The Democratic Republic of Congo has contracted Gemalto to help the electoral body compile a biometric register and to conduct the upcoming elections in November, according to a report by Africa News. Gemalto will provide 22,000 mobile biometric voter enrollment kits to the Independent Electoral Commission of the Democratic Republic of Congo (CENI). “We needed a reliable partner to facilitate our ambitious program, which we expect will enroll up to 45 million voters,” said Corneille Nangaa, president of CENI. “With

Ghana’s voter registration exercise to feature biometric verification devices

Ghana’s Electoral Commission has said the upcoming voters’ register exhibition exercise — which will run from July 18 to August 7 — will prominently feature biometric verification devices (BVD), according to a report by Citi FM Online. The move comes a few months after the EC started its biometric voter registration pilot project in early March. “There is another dimension we are trying to bring into the exhibition. The period of the exhibitions going to be extended from the normal

Zimbabwe biometric voter registration system to cost $55 million

The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission’s (ZEC) chairperson Rita Makarau said earlier this week that it will cost $55 million to deploy a biometric voters’ registration exercise in advance of the upcoming elections, according to a report by the Africa News Agency. The news comes a few months after the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) announced its plans to introduce a biometric voting system as part of its reforms ahead of the 2018 general elections. The ZEC’s plans to use the full biometric

Smartmatic CEO responds to Obama’s call for e-voting

Smartmatic’s CEO, Antonio Mugica, has expressed his support for President Obama’s call to action to make online voting, or e-voting, a reality in the United States. “President Obama’s call was surprising in only one respect—that it caused a stir. In a world where we can buy a house, take a degree course and access government services online, it does not make sense that elections don’t use tried and tested technology,” commented Mugica. “I agree with the President. The future of

Ghana begins its biometric voter registration pilot project

Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) started its biometric voter registration pilot project today, according to a report in News Ghana. A statement by Amadu Sulley, the country’s Deputy Chairman for Operations said: “The Electoral Commission has upgraded the biometric registration kits (BVR Kits) for the impending limited voter registration and subsequent registration exercises.” The EC said the exercise will be carried out in selected districts in all the ten regions of the country and that they are using the pilot to

EU observer recommends against biometric voter verification for Pakistan’s next general elections

Michael Gahler, the head of European Union’s (EU) Follow-up Mission in Pakistan has advised the country against introducing electronic voting and biometric voter identification for the next general elections. According to a report in The Express Tribune, Gahler said the technology will not address the issues Pakistan has been facing for years to ensure free, fair and transparent elections. “You cannot substitute a lack of administrative capacity and other deficits by introducing a computerized voting (system),” said Gahler. Gahler recently

Uganda’s EC begins training staff to use biometric voter identification system

NTV is reporting that Uganda’s Electoral Commission has begun training staff to use the new biometric voter identification system and the electronic results transmission system prior to its next general election. “The Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS), aims at improving the integrity of the electoral process through authentication of voter identity. This system basically uses fingerprints to match them with voter details which will help the election officer to confirm that the voter is on the roll of that polling

Biometrics to verify voters in Uganda; Zimbabwe and Pakistan evaluating costs, usability

Uganda’s electoral commission (EC) is to meet this week to explain its decision to use biometric voter verification in the upcoming general election to representatives of the presidential candidates, political parties and other stakeholders, according to a report in the Voice of America. Uganda’s EC spokesperson Jotham Taremwa said that, “the deployment of the biometric verification mechanism at all polling stations across the country will significantly boost the credibility of the presidential, legislative and local elections.” He continued, “For the

Daon provides biometric voter registration software for Somaliland

Daon released details today about its role in providing biometric voter registration capabilities to the National Election Commission (NEC) in Somaliland. Daon was the core software provider to ATEA, the IT infrastructure provider selected by UN NGO Interpeace and the NEC for the project. Daon’s identity management software suite includes biometric voter registration and centralized voter management modules. Daon worked with ATEA to design, assemble and deliver the voter registration kits with iris capture and matching functionality using IrisID for