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Tanzanian president invokes need for biometric voting to curb election irregularities

Tanzanian president invokes need for biometric voting to curb election irregularities

A biometric voting system could already be in place when Tanzanians head to the polls to choose a new president in the country’s general elections in four years’ time.

This is according to a suggestion by the East African nation’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, that the government is weighing the possibility of introducing biometric voting during the 2025 polls, reports local portal Tuko.

The report quotes the Tanzanian leader as having expressed her views in a recent video that was posted on Twitter by the Government Spokesman.

President Hassan said in the video that not only will the introduction of biometrics curb the number of irregularities common with elections in the country, it will also enhance voter participation as past experience has shown that many busy voters find it difficult to attend for in-person voting.

For President Hassan, it is incumbent on the country to abandon the traditional manual voting system and welcome a biometric system, saying “we need to start preparing to embrace ICT in the upcoming elections to ensure every citizen enjoys the right to participate in the democratic process.”

This, she said, will allow the chance for citizens who cannot physically vote in person at polling stations to be able to exercise their civic duty on election day.

Tanzania used a biometric voter verification system during presidential polls in October last year, but there were reports of problems faced by the system including poor internet access and alleged manipulation.

Tuko recalls that the main opposition chairman Freeman Mbowe had called out the system on his Twitter page alleging massive manipulation which gave room for millions of ghost voters and polling stations, all to the disadvantage of legitimate voters.

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