Uganda’s electoral commission plans to meet next week with representatives of the country’s eight presidential candidates, political parties and stakeholders to explain its decision to use a biometric system to verify voters in the February 18 general election. This would be the first time that the electoral body employs a biometric system, which uses human body characteristics to confirm a person’s identity. Jotham Taremwa, a spokesman for the electoral commission, says the deployment of the biometric verification mechanism at all polling stations across the country will significantly boost the credibility of the presidential, legislative and local elections. The commission has begun training its officers in how to use the system.
biometric voter registration
Around 3.8 million registered voters may be disenfranchised in the national and local elections in 2016 if they fail to have their biometrics taken, a Commission on Elections official said on Friday. In his personal Twitter account, Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the 3.8-million registered voters without biometrics would not be able to vote if they would fail to come to a Comelec registration satellite booth within three months. Since the Comelec started the satellite registrations in all shopping malls nationwide, it has been able to take the biometrics of 500,000 registered voters.
The Electoral Commission of Uganda will use a biometric system – a system that uses human body characteristics to determine identity – to update its voters register ahead of next year’s general election, says Electoral Commission spokesman Jotham Taremwa. Denying reports that the electoral commission lacks funds needed to organize the elections within the next 10 months, Taremwa says the electoral body needs about $90,000,000 to organize the elections. The government has disbursed $67,000,000 but has yet to release the rest of the funds.
Tanzania has postponed a referendum on a new constitution after delays in registering voters, the electoral body said Thursday. The postponement heightened tensions over the charter, which the main opposition parties have rejected. The delay also could complicate presidential and parliamentary elections due to be held in October. The new constitution would replace one passed in 1977, when the state was under one-party rule. The opposition said it was approved last year without a quorum by an assembly dominated by President Jakaya Kikwete’s Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party, which has been in power since Tanzania’s independence from Britain in 1961.
Nigerian’s electoral commission extended voting to Sunday in a president election plagued by polling place delays and glitches in a new electronic voter accreditation system. The balloting was also marred by violence, with seven voters killed in Gombe state by suspected Boko Haram gunmen, according to local residents, and attacks on electoral officials in the volatile Rivers State. Widespread problems were reported with the new biometric card readers aimed at identifying voters’ thumb prints before actual balloting began, As a result, voting was delayed for hours. The Independent National Electoral Commission agreed to extend voting to Sunday at polling places where there had been failures in the biometric system. The election commission acknowledged that the equipment had failed in many areas and voter accreditation had been too slow. “The commission reassures the public that it will thoroughly investigate what happened while it stays committed to credible elections,” the board said in a statement Saturday.
Tanzania’s electoral commission on Monday began to register voters through the biometric voter registration (BVR) system for an upcoming constitutional referendum. “Registration starts today at Njombe region and we are going to carry the activity for seven days before moving to another region,” Damian Lubuva, chief of the National Electoral Commission (NEC), told The Anadolu Agency by phone. Lubuva said the electoral body has faced some challenges while implementing the exercise. “BVR kits we are using sometimes fail to work as it was expected,” he said. “Our experts are on the field making sure all are going well as planned.”
The head of Nigeria’s electoral commission said on Tuesday the country will hold a presidential election as scheduled on Feb. 14, rejecting a call from one of the president’s advisors to delay them. “We remain committed to implementing the timetable,” commission head Attahiru Jega told a news conference. President Goodluck Jonathan’s National Security Advisor Sambo Dasuki said last week that Nigeria should delay the election to allow more time for permanent voter cards (PVCs) to be distributed. Some 30 million have yet to be handed out. “We do not believe that the challenges of PVC distribution are such that it warrants rescheduling the election,” Jega said.
The push to require New Mexico voters to present some form of identification at the polls has long divided Democrats and Republicans, but one state senator is taking the debate in another direction. Senate Minority Whip William Payne introduced a proposal this week that calls for the state’s top elections officials to study the feasibility of bringing biometrics into the mix. That could mean anything from retinal scans to the thumbprint-imaging technology used to access smartphones. After hearing the same debate year after year, the Albuquerque Republican said he wanted to find a way to take some of the “venom” out of the argument that requiring photo identification would lead to voter suppression. “This could put to rest the criticism that voters cannot afford to produce reliable photo identification when they vote,” Payne said. “Everyone has an eyeball or thumb that could be scanned for identification. No need to produce a photo ID.”
New Mexico: Senator wants New Mexico to study thumbprint and eye-scan technology for voter ID | Santa Fe Reporter
A Republican state senator wants to take a different look at the contentious idea of requiring voters to present photo IDs at the polls. Senate Minority Whip Bill Payne, R-Bernalillo, introduced a Senate memorial today calling on the state to study the feasibility of using biometrics like thumbprints, eye scans and DNA recognition technology to identify voters at the polls and prevent voter fraud. He says he got the idea after hearing “years and years about whether or not any effort to have photo ID or other identification measures suppresses the vote.” “I thought I’d shake it up a little because I recently got an iPhone that uses a thumbprint identification that only I could open it instead of having to use a password or any other code to get into it,” Payne says in a video statement provided to SFR by the Senate Republican Leadership office (he had already left the Roundhouse when we tried to reach him this afternoon).
India: Election Commission to check bogus voting, link Aadhaar with electoral rolls | Hindustan Times
To check bogus voting, the Election Commission (EC) on Friday decided to use a person’s 12-digit biometric-based Aadhaar number while updating electoral rolls across India. “We have held discussions with the unique identification authority on leveraging Aadhaar database to check bogus voting,” an EC functionary said. The process in Delhi is likely to start after the Delhi assembly elections. Once Aadhaar numbers are linked to electoral rolls, the EC will have biometric reading machines at polling booths for online authentication of voters before they are allowed to vote. The machines will be connected to the Aadhaar database for biometric authentication. The government has already decided to enrol all eligible persons above the age of five for Aadhaar by March 2015. This would mean that every voter by then will have an Aadhaar number and the EC will demand the number while updating the electoral rolls.