Biometrics uncover voter ID fraud in Philippines
Election officials say fingerprint scans have detected 400,000 extra voter registrations in the Philippines. The ongoing count reportedly could reach more than 500,000 by June.
Panay News reports that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has found that multiple registrations have been tied to some individuals in the leadup to local elections this year.
Comelec Chair George Garcia said last week that the inflated total includes voters who applied to register between December and January.
Garcia said that Comelec’s automated fingerprint identification system constantly crosschecks the biometric data of all registered voters nationwide to weed multiple registrants.
The revelations were made in the face of a possible Philippines Senate investigation into the “massive and unexplained” rise in registered voters for the elections.
National voter rolls for 2022 elections have been estimated at 62 million to 67 million.
Last year, the commission laid out plans for biometric registration of 2 million new voters barangays, the country’s smallest political units, and the Sangguniang Kabataan, the youth council of the barangays. Voter registration was completed in January. At the time, Garcia warned that voters that try to register more than once could be sentenced to up to six years in jail.
Comelec is considering the use of biometrics in voting machines, including facial, fingerprint, and signature, for the country’s 2025 national election.