biometric voter registration

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Uganda: New Measures to Prevent Voter Irregularities in Uganda | VoA News

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.

Full Article: New Measures to Prevent Voter Irregularities in Uganda.

Tanzania: Referendum on Constitution Delayed | VoA News

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.

Full Article: Tanzania Delays Referendum on Constitution.

Nigeria: Electronic glitches hobble Nigerian vote; polling extended to Sunday | Los Angeles Times

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.

Full Article: Electronic glitches hobble Nigerian vote; polling extended to Sunday - LA Times.

Tanzania: Biometric voter registration kicks off in Tanzania | World Bulletin

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.”

Full Article: Biometric voter registration kicks off in Tanzania | Africa | Worldbulletin News.

Nigeria: Elections will not be delay: commission | Reuters

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.

Full Article: Nigeria will not delay elections: commission - Yahoo News.

New Mexico: Voter ID debate goes high-tech with new proposal | Associated Press

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.”

Full Article: Voter ID debate goes high-tech with new proposal - The Santa Fe New Mexican: Legislature | 2014 New Mexico Legislative Session.

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).

Full Article: Senator wants New Mexico to study thumbprint and eye-scan technology for voter ID.

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.

Full Article: EC to check bogus voting, link Aadhaar with electoral rolls - Hindustan Times.

Solomon Islands: Record Voter Turnout in Solomon Islands Elections: SIEC | Solomon Times

The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission (SIEC) has confirmed that the recent National General Elections recorded the highest ever voter turnout, with 89.93% of all registered voters casting their ballot. “This is a great success for the SIEC and for our country as a whole,” Chief Electoral Officer, Mr Polycarp Haununu said. “I would like to acknowledge everyone who made the effort to get to their polling station on Election Day and exercise their democratic right.” In the 2010 National General Election, voter turnout was just 52.4%, though the Commission says that figure does not take into account the large number of multiple registrations and deceased persons that were on the roll prior to the introduction of Biometric Voter Registration. The SIEC says the voter turnout figure compares favourably with other countries in the region. “In the Fijian National Election earlier this year, voter turnout was 83.97%and in the New Zealand National Election turnout was 78.96%,” Mr Haununu said.

Full Article: Record Voter Turnout in Solomon Islands Elections: SIEC - Solomon Times Online.

Somaliland: Computer science professor aids Somaliland’s election | The Observer

The government of Somaliland asked Notre Dame computer science professor Kevin Bowyer with graduate students Amanda Sgroi and Estefan Ortiz to use their iris recognition biometric research to improve the legitimacy of their elections. Somaliland is a self-declared independent state directly north of Somalia recognized by the international community and U.S. as an autonomous region of Somalia. According to a College of Engineering press release, it is transforming into a rare, multiparty democracy in the Horn of Africa and is working to establish honest, respected elections. “Someone in Somaliland sent me an e-mail asking me to help with improving their voting register,” Bowyer said. “They said they wanted to use iris-recognition technology and asked us for help. The ultimate goal is that you can only vote one time,” Sgroi said. “If you’re trying to vote a second time, then the iris recognition system is going to block you before you can even cast your ballot.”

Full Article: Computer science professor aids Somaliland's election // The Observer.

Ghana: Political parties propose electoral reforms | GNA

Political parties under the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) Ghana Political Parties Programme (GPPP) have proposed electoral reforms in order to enhance the electoral system. The political parties comprised those with representations in parliament such as the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, People’s National Convention and the Convention People’s Party, as well those with no parliamentary representations. Speaking at the IEA National Stakeholder Workshop on electoral reforms in Accra Dr Ransford Gyampo, a Senior Research Fellow at IEA and Coordinator of GPPP, said two workshops were held for the political parties by the IEA as part of its commitment to deepen Ghana’s democracy.

Full Article: Political parties propose electoral reforms | citifmonline.

Solomon Islands: Allegations of widespread fraud ahead of Solomon Islands elections | ABC

Less than two weeks since the introduction of a biometric voter registration system in Solomon Islands there are allegations of electoral fraud. Transparency Solomon Islands says it’s already received reports of widespread vote rigging ahead of the national election later this year. TSI’s chief executive Daniel Fenua says there is anecdotal evidence of candidates taking possession of scores of ID cards. He says the cards are purcahsed from individual voters.

Full Article: Allegations of widespread fraud ahead of Solomon Islands elections - Australia Network News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation).

Solomon Islands: Government urged to avail funds towards voter registration | Islands Business

Solomon Islands Opposition leader Dr Derek Sikua has called on the Government to make every effort to immediately allocate funds to the National Electoral Commission for the commencement of the biometric voter registration next Thursday. Biometric voter registration to be introduced at the upcoming national general election at the end of this year is a highly advanced biometric information system designed to address the need of a robust and secure voter registration and identification system. Dr Sikua made the call after learning that the proposed commencement of the biometric voter registration on Thursday 27, 2014 would be delayed till March due to government funding problem.

Full Article: Solomon Islands gov’t urged to avail funds towards voter registration - Solomon Islands - News - Islands Business magazine.

Namibia: Biometric machine for voter registration unveiled | Biometric Update

Namibia is planning to use a biometric voter registration system for its upcoming election and the country’s electoral commission has just launched the machine it will be using to enroll voters. According to a report in The Namibian, the machines were manufactured in South Africa, and consist of a laptop, fingerprint scanner, camera and signature and barcode scanner. Voter registration starts on January 15 and ends on March 2 next year. Altogether there are 904 machines as well as generators and back-up kits for emergencies.

Full Article: Namibia unveils biometric machine for voter registration | BiometricUpdate.com.

Solomon Islands: Biometric voter registry system launched | Solomon Star

A new and improved voter registration system has been launched yesterday. Called the Biometric Voter Registration, the system is expected to solve problems normally faced during voting such as double voting and or voting on other people’s names. The Solomon Islands Electoral Commission held the launching at the National Museum to mark the start of the Biometric Voters Registration Campaign. The ceremony was attended by the chairman of the SIEC, Sir Allen Kemakeza, Opposition leader Dr, Dereck Sikua, Permanent Secretary of Home affairs, Mr. Fred Fakarii and Representatives. Chief Electoral Officer Polycarp Haununu said the Electoral Commission will undertake a nationwide registration of eligible electors using the new system, starting from January to March 2014. “This is part of strengthening of the Electoral Cycle in Solomon Islands,” Mr Haununu said. He said the commission has taken the “bold decision” to replace the current voters list with a list to be compiled using the Biometric technology, in the face of advancing ICT and emerging challenges in voter registration in the Solomon Islands. “In the past years, registrations of voters were captured manually which sometimes not accurate and takes up a lot of time. With the use of this system, it will be simple fast and reliable.”

Full Article: New voter registry system launched.

Cameroon: Voter ID Card Controversy Mars Cameroon Campaign | VoA News

Campaigning for parliamentary and local elections is officially underway in Cameroon, amid controversy over the alleged fabrication and buying of fake voter cards ahead of the September 30 poll. Loudspeakers placed at strategic locations and in populous neighborhoods of Cameroon’s capital blare campaign messages by 35 political parties running in council and parliamentary elections this month. This message by one opposition party, the National Union for Democracy and Progress, promises to unite the country and keep it out of conflict. Meanwhile, Denis Kemlemo, a candidate with the main opposition Social Democratic Front, tells VOA he will focus on reviving the economy.  “Our economy is failing due to the adoption of unrealistic budgets, absence of true social justice and snail pace development.  It is for this reason that we are begging for your support during these upcoming parliamentary and council elections to help bring the change that we desperately need,” he said. But the campaigns have been overshadowed by a simmering controversy over voter registration.

Full Article: Voter ID Card Controversy Mars Cameroon Campaign.

Malaysia: Election commission may replace ink with biometric system | Asia One

The Election Commission is looking into replacing the indelible ink with a biometric system as proposed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. Its deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said amendments to the laws must be made if it were to scrap the use of indelible ink. “We are still scrutinising the matter internally,” he said, adding that the biometric system should be more suitable for Malaysia as it was at the forefront of digital as well as information and communication technology. He pointed out that the national registry system and MyKad were among the best in the world.

Full Article: Election commission may replace ink with biometric system.

Tanzania: Tanzania Prepares for Biometric Registration – allAfrica.com

Tanzania held its first multi-party General Election in 1995 and subsequent elections in 2000, 2005 and 2010, voters registration is among thorny issues that political parties and other stakeholders have complained about. At present, official statistics availed by the National Electoral Commission (NEC) show that there are some 20 million registered voters on the Permanent National Voters Register (PNVR) in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar out of the total population of about 45 million. Cases of missing names of eligible voters, appearance of names of people long known to be dead as well as minors on the voters’ register, are among issues that have touched raw nerves of politicians and concerned citizens of this country. There were also some incidents where voters deliberately registered more than once.

Full Article: allAfrica.com: Tanzania Prepares for Biometric Registration (Page 1 of 2).

Tanzania: Electoral officials address biometric voter registration concerns | Sabahionline.com

Tanzanian election officials reiterated intentions to use biometric voter registration for the 2015 elections and explained how the machines would be used, Tanzania’s Daily News reported Thursday (May 16th). The system will only be used for voter registration, not during the actual voting, National Electoral Commission (NEC) Vice-Chairman Hamid Mahmoud Hamid said. Politicians have raised concerns about the biometric system, which has encountered problems when used in other African elections, including during Kenya’s elections in March.

Full Article: Tanzanian electoral officials address biometric voter registration concerns - Sabahionline.com.

Georgia (Sakartvelo): Did the Devil Go Down to Georgia in a Smart ID Card? | EurasiaNet.org

Everyone can sigh with relief. Georgia’s justice officials say they are not in league with the devil and have no plans to assist the Antichrist to take over the world. In a bizarre public-service announcement, Georgia’s Justice Ministry on April 20 announced that new, biometric ID cards for Georgian citizens are not a satanic creation. “The assumption that the new ID card is the seal of the Antichrist and that it contains the sign of the beast is not correct,” explained an earnest young man in a video produced by the ministry.

Full Article: Did the Devil Go Down to Georgia in a Smart ID Card? | EurasiaNet.org.