On October 11 of this year, Guinea held its presidential election, and biometrics were a key part of the process. Keeping with the increasing trend to register eligible voters’ biometrics prior to an election, the nation’s National Independent Electoral Commission, CENI, had previosuly turned to global digital security specialist Gemalto. With the goal of ensuring the enrollment of millions of voters in time for the election, the company succeeded in a meticulous modernization of Guinea’s ballot.
What makes the whole effort so impressive is the time constraints. The whole process was given a tight deadline of 45 days.
CENI president Bakary Fofana comments: “CENI put their trust in Gemalto to work as both a solution and service provider, responsible for operating the entire enrollment process in a 45-day critical timeline. We took great benefits of Gemalto extensive experience from over 20 progressive government programs in Africa.”
Keeping in mind that other ambitious comprehensive voter registration projects—like the one undertaken in the Philippines in preparation for its 2016 federal election—have been less successful in enrolling all voters with a longer timeline, such quick turnaround is impressive.
The Guinea voter registration saw Gemalto deploying 2,500 units of its mobile biometric registration kit, the Coesys Mobile Enrollment station. Mobility is a boon to such projects, since servicing voters in rural regions is a major challenge, especially in countries like Guinea where the infrastructure in certain areas can be a particularly difficult obstacle.
A press release detailing the project’s success notes that the voter registration project, in addition to the actual act of enrollment, necessitated the training of 5,000 operators. These workers conducted the enrollment using the front end solution, which includes the biometric registration technology and easy to use software. As for the back end, Gemalto also delivered an Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), and software modules that allowed for the printing of voter lists and cards.
Frédéric Trojani, executive vice president, Government Programs, at Gemalto says: “Gemalto supported CENI in creating a modern voter register that can underpin democratic elections and for which secure voter registration is a critical step. Gemalto brought a high level of service for the management and perfect execution of this important project for Guinea’s future.”
November 24, 2015 – by Peter B. Counter