Introducing Biometric Technology in Elections

1,164
This publication is only available in electronic format
Published: 
20 June 2017
Language: 
English
Pages: 
64
ISBN: 
978-91-7671-098-2 (Print)
ISBN: 
978-91-7671-205-4 (PDF)
Author(s): 
Peter Wolf, Adbul Alim, Brown Kasaro, Pontius Namugera, Mohammed Saneem, Tamir Zorigt

A credible voter register gives legitimacy to the electoral process and helps prevent electoral fraud.

However, voter registration remains a complex and contested task. It is one of the most important activities that an electoral management body needs to conduct, but it is also one of the most costly in terms of both time and resources.

Many countries that face challenges in creating an accurate voter register are considering reforming their voter registration systems through the introduction of biometric technologies. The drive towards biometrics has been facilitated by its largely apolitical nature. Investing in high-tech solutions allows stakeholders to demonstrate their commitment to resolving electoral problems. At the same time, expectations on biometric solutions may be exaggerated.

This guide provides an overview of key concepts and considerations for all stakeholders involved in discussions about the application of biometrics in elections, both for voter registration before an election and for voter verification at polling stations on election day.

Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations 

1. Introduction

2. The use of biometrics in elections

3. System options and considerations

4. Limitations of biometric technologies in elections

5. Implications of new biometric technologies

6. Factors to consider when introducing biometrics

7. Alternatives to biometric technologies

8. Conclusions and recommendations

Case studies

Bangladesh

Fiji

Mongolia

Nigeria

Uganda

Zambia

References and further reading

Contributors

About International IDEA

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