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.
2. Global use of biometrics in elections
3. System options and considerations
4. Limitations of biometric technologies in elections
5. Implications of new biometric technologies
6. Introducing biometrics
7. Alternatives to biometric technologies
8. Conclusions and recommendations
References and further reading
About the contributors
About International IDEA