Forget voter ID laws–Venezuela is using thumbprint readers at its ballot boxes. But with President Hugo Chavez facing his tightest re-election race yet, some of his opponents say the devices may scare away voters, adding to fears about the fairness of the vote scheduled for Oct. 7. The country’s electoral council has long used fingerprint scanners at the entrance to polling places to ensure voter identification. But this year, the readers will be hooked to the electronic voting machines themselves. Citizens must press down a thumb to activate the ballot system. Some say they fear that could let the government know how each person votes. ”If the thumbprint makes the machine work, how do you know it doesn’t end up being recorded who you voted for?” asked Jacqueline Rivas, a 46-year-old housewife.
biometric voter registration
Do you consider yourself an IT hacker? Then the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will soon be looking for you. In November, the IEBC plans to invite hackers to try tamper with the system that it will use to transmit provisional results. According to IEBC CEO James Oswago, this will help the system attract the confidence of Kenyans ahead of the planned March 4, 2013 General Elections. “We are confident that our system is tamper-proof. However, sometime in November we will invite those who think they can hack into the system to do it. We want Kenyans to have confidence in the system,” Mr Oswago said. According to Mr Oswago, this is one of the lessons that the Commission has learnt from engagement with electoral bodies that use such systems.
The electronic voting kit for the Electronic Voting Registration (EVR) will arrive into the country next week from Canada. Elections Office logistic team leader Major Isoa Loanakadavu confirmed CODE Corporation in Canada would supply the Biometric Voter Registration System (BVRS) under the Biometric Voter Registration agreement between the corporation and the government of Fiji. “The electronic voting kit will be arriving from Canada three weeks prior to the launch on July 3,” Major Loanakadavu said. Training on the use of the EVR will begin once the BVRS arrives. “Training will be conducted by representatives from CODE Corporation as part of the contract signed during the agreement,” Major Loanakadavu said. “They will conduct training to trainers. These trainers will then be deployed to centres to conduct training on the selected personnel (1118 personnel) prior to the actual deployment for the EVR.”
The 40-day biometric registration exercise officially ended at the week-end with a projection of 12 million people registered to cast their votes on Friday, December 7. At the time of going go press, the Electoral Commission had not released the breakdown of figures for the regions and constituencies but indications were that ,registration officers might be dispatched in the near future to areas where the exercise faced major challenges.
Acting on credible information received from a source in ododiodio that an NDC ward executive is using his tailoring shop for illegal Biometric registration, the Young Patriots made contact with the police service and some media houses to catch the culprits in the act adjacent the Barclays Bank at UTC in ododiodio. The culprit Mr Bernard Allotey with his accomplices, were arrested with biometric registration forms, scanning machines and equipments being used for registration. They also had in their possession, over 500 completed forms and biometric ID cards yet to be distributed. However in the regular mysterious fashion in which the Police handle cases related to the ‘no go area’ of Nii Lantey Vandapouye, the Police have since released the culprits who have vanished and are threatening Mr Akwasi Sarpong of Happy FM.
Ghana’s Electoral Commission (EC) has disclosed that it has detected 4,000 multiple registrations had so far been detected nationwide. The Commission has allayed fears that the problem occurred in a particular region that could favor a particular political party. The Director, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Department of EC, Gilbert Akomea, said such registrations did not follow any pattern or come from any particular part of the country, but were widespread across the country.
The opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) has accused the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the Electoral Commission of manipulating the ongoing voter biometric registration in certain parts of Accra to favour the ruling party. The Greater Accra NPP branch is alleging that new registration centres have been created in the region without their knowledge, “contrary to the agreed number of registration centres.”
Tomorrow marks the start of the Biometric registration. The exercise is to replace the existing voters register and by implication nullify previous ID cards. The Electoral Commission says it is adequately prepared to start the biometric registration. The Head of the Public Affairs of the Commission, Christian Owusu Parry told Radio Ghana that, all registration officers have been trained and materials needed for the exercise, have also been dispatched to all districts across the country. Mr. Parry said the commission has met with all political parties to deliberate on major issues ahead of the start of the exercise.
Alhaji Amadu Sule, Director of Research, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Electoral Commission (EC), has said the EC had not yet taken a decision on voting by proxy or transfer of voting. He said the new voters’ registration system had not made any provision for such voting systems. Alhaji Sule explained that both the proxy and transfer voting requires another voter to vote on behalf of the individual and that “with the biometric system, the person who had registered must be present and vote by person, a situation which makes it quite difficult for proxy and transfer voting.”
Philippines: Cost of electoral reform in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao: P850M | Inquirer News
It would cost nearly a billion pesos to nullify the entire list of voters in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and replace it with a new one, the chair of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said. The expense, however, was necessary to end decades of electoral fraud in the region, said Comelec Chief Sixto Brillantes, a former election lawyer. Brillantes said it would cost P450 million if Comelec proceeded with regular registration of voters in the ARMM and at least P850 million if Comelec did away with the old registration process and instead nullified the region’s voters’ list and put in place a registration system using modern technology. He said, however, that trashing the existing voters’ list was a necessary first step toward electoral reform in the ARMM. Comelec, he said, would use a process of registration using biometrics, or technology that would keep track of voter identity through fingerprints or other unalterable marks.