Liberia plans biometric voter registry with enrollment beginning in December
The National Elections Commission of Liberia has announced its preliminary plans for 2023, which include transitioning from optical mark recognition for secure voter registration to fingerprint biometrics
NEC Chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah said during a press conference that portable tablets with fingerprint scanners will be used to capture thumbprints for a biometric voter registry, The New Dawn Liberia reports. The biometrics could also be used for deduplication and the prevention of impersonation.
Facial images will also be collected, and the NEC will attempt to reduce the volume of incorrect voter data in the system.
Following deduplication, biometric voter registry cards will be issued from registration centers.
A biometric voter registration initiative is slated to start on December 15, 2022, and conclude on March 17, 2023. The process will be held in three regional phases, according to the announcement. During each phase, the region’s registration center will be open for three weeks.
Before they begin, the NEC is planning to develop custom registration software, set up servers, have staff trained by the technology vendor, and take possession of imported biometric hardware.
The Commission has been budgeted for US$61 million for Liberia’s 2023 elections.
Liberia’s NEC and National Identification Registry engaged with political parties earlier this year to inform them that the biometric registry was being planned.
Browne Lansanah has been facing prosecution over allegations that an expensive contract for fever-screening biometric scanners was improperly awarded.