Albania to roll out biometric voter identification system, maybe not in time for next elections

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Despite an agreement to use biometric identification in Albania, it may not be in the cards for the next elections announced for April or May 2021, writes Exit News.

Political parties in the country reached a consensus on the electoral reform on Friday, which was one of the conditions for Albania’s EU accession. As a result, the Socialist Party is no longer pushing for a takedown of the politicized election administration, and all parties have agreed on the deployment of biometric identification.

The country’s Central Election Commission (CEC) will appoint a deputy commissioner to determine the viability and implementation of biometric voter registration, who will share responsibility for the system with the CEC’s chair. An international expert will assist in training for the system’s implementation, according to a copy of the agreement published by Exit News.

The system may be gradually introduced, with a pilot of no more than 20 percent of voters to determine the technical viability of electronic identification before any system is rolled out to all voters.

MP Rudina Hajdari’s initiative to change the electoral system, meanwhile, was rejected.

Albanians living abroad will not the able to vote, despite representing nearly half of the population.

The European Union said earlier this year that it might provide Western Balkan countries with assistance in developing biometric registration and data-sharing systems to address migrant smuggling.

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