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Afghanistan Attorney General probes slow transfer of vote data from biometric devices

Categories Biometrics News  |  Elections

The Attorney General of Afghanistan will question the head of IT for the Independent Election Commission (IEC) over the agency’s failure to speed up the transfer of data from biometric devices to its main server, TOLOnews reports. The investigation is being carried out after a complaint by the Kabul branch of the Electoral Complaints Commission.

The IEC has invited a pair of engineers from Dermalog, which previously assisted the agency with staff training and an upgrade to add deduplication capabilities to the system, to go to Afghanistan and help speed up the process, which threatens to delay the preliminary results announcement, currently scheduled for October 19.

The delay has been blamed on connectivity problems.

“Engineers have arrived, the work is going well, and the problem has been resolved to some extent,” said IEC chief Hawa Alam Nuristani.

TOLOnews reports that data has now been transferred from 22,445 of the more than 26,000 devices used, but some are sceptical that the remainder will be completed in time.

“The system has not been working for the past eight days, if the system is not fixed, it will be difficult to carry out the work in a timely manner,” said Mohammad Younus Nawandesh, a representative of the campaign of candidate Abdullah Abdullah. A representative of Ashraf Ghani’s campaign recognized that engineers are working on the problem and expressed hope that their work will be properly completed.

The IEC has reiterated that only biometrically-verified votes from the September 28 election are valid.

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