Liberian Senate seeks consensus on introduction of biometrics for 2023 election
Liberia’s Senate has called on its Joint Committee on Autonomous Agencies and Ways, Means, Finance and Budget to meet with stakeholders in order to agree on a number of issues related to the introduction of biometrics for the country’s 2023 Presidential and Legislative elections.
According to The Liberian Observer, the Joint Committee has been told to invite representatives of the National Election Commission (NEC), the National Identification Registry (NIR) and the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to discuss the proposed budget and the feasibility of instituting biometric voter registration ahead of the polls.
Liberia has made bold its plans to add biometrics to its electoral process but disagreements over who should oversee the biometric registration as well as the proposed budget for the project, have been noted. The Senate joint Committee has also met a couple of times with the relevant stakeholders in order find common ground on the issue.
The Liberian Observer reports that some Senators in a recent plenary expressed support for the biometric system saying it will go a long way in curbing electoral fraud and enhancing credibility.
They urged the NEC, NIR and Finance Ministry to meet and agree on a workable plan in order to make the project a reality.
Liberia plans a biometric voter registration pilot, and NEC officials have already visited their sub regional neighbors Ghana and Nigeria to tap from their biometric experience when it comes to the organization of elections.
Nigeria’s new biometric voter accreditation system hailed
An election observer organization, Yiaga Africa, has commended Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for introducing the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) for a Delta State by-election scheduled for this weekend as well as for Governorship elections in the State of Anambra in November, Vanguard writes.
BVAS uses the INEC’s Voter Enrolment Device that combines fingerprint and face biometrics for identity verification and accreditation of registered voters.
“This recent innovation is worthy of commendation especially because it is designed to ensure full voter authentication on Election Day. This is particularly important because as revealed in previous Yiaga Africa Watching the Vote election observation reports, the Smart Card Reader while achieving an impressive level of functionality had a major challenge with full biometric authentication of voters,” Yiaga Africa wrote in a statement cited by Vanguard.
Yiaga Africa said although it is satisfied with assurances about the robustness of the system, it was important for INEC to “document critical lessons from the deployment and make an effort to bridge any gap identified.”