Nigeria’s electoral commission says it has found a means to fight fraud that has marred votes repeatedly in Africa’s most populous nation: technology. While its decision to use biometric voter-card readers in general elections starting March 28 is favored by Muhammadu Buhari’s opposition alliance, President Goodluck Jonathan’s ruling People’s Democratic Party, which has won every election in Africa’s biggest oil producer since the end of military rule in 1999, is crying foul. All of the previous elections were marred by ballot stuffing, multiple and underage voting, and falsification of figures, according to local and international monitors. About 800 people died in violence in 2011 after Buhari lost to Jonathan and said the result was rigged.
State Senate Minority Whip Bill Payne, R. Albuquerque, can envision a future where New Mexicans use their fingerprints to prove their identity in order to vote. In a Senate Memorial introduced Wednesday, Payne asks the secretary of state to study the advantages of using iris scans, thumbprints and other biometric measures to prevent potential voter fraud in state elections. “The state-of-the-art technology is here. Anyone who watches the NCIS TV drama series can tell you that modern technology is commonly used for authentication purposes,” Payne said in a statement.
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.
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.
The Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) has adopted the use of Electronic Biometric Voter Registration System in the country in order to address the enormous challenges the commission has been experiencing in maintaining a credible voters roll. A Biometric Voter Registration involves the use of biometric technologies with the use of computers, fingerprint scanners and digital cameras to capture the bio data of applicants. A MEC statement signed by the Chief Elections Officer, Willie Kalonga, says the adoption has been made following wide and extensive consultations with various stakeholders on voter registration solution.
Editorials: Voter fraud and illegal immigration: a biometric card solution | Robert Pastor/latimes.com
The American people want the Democratic and Republican parties to solve our nation’s problems together, but bipartisan solutions become possible only if each side gives the other the benefit of the doubt. We should begin with two polarizing issues — voter fraud and migration. Biometric identification cards offer a solution for both. More than 30 states require identification cards to vote. Republicans believe such ID cards are important to prevent electoral fraud. Democrats believe voter impersonation is not a problem, and that the real reason for the IDs is to suppress the votes of poor and old people and minorities, who lack cards and tend to vote Democratic. The Supreme Court accepted that voter identification cards were a legitimate instrument for ensuring ballot integrity, but many state courts suspended the laws because they were implemented late with confusing rules and without easy access to cards. In fact, statewide IDs are of little help because most cases of double voting are by people with homes in two states.
The Philippine government is seeking to institutionalize the use of biometrics in voter registration to clean the voter record in preparation for the midterm elections in 2013. House Bill 3469 which requires all voters to have their biometrics data — photographs, fingerprints and signature — taken by an election officer and prohibits those without biometric data from voting has now hurdled Third Reading at the House of Representatives.
According to the author of the bill, 2nd district Tarlac Representative Susan Yap, the move will “cure the perennial problem of multiple registrants and flying voters” since every registrant is assigned a unique key of identification.
Venezuela: Changes in voting system allow the National Electoral Council to hold joint elections | El Universal
The National Electoral Council (CNE) will use fingerprints from the file of the Venezuelan Administrative Service of Identification, Migration and Citizenship (Saime) to complete the register of voters.
The electoral schedule 2012 may not be known until the fourth quarter of this year, but the technical restriction that prevented “joint” voting at different levels (for instance, elections for president and state governors) will be overcome by the implementation of the Comprehensive Authentication System (SAI).