The government of Liberia is hoping to have a biometric voter registration system in place for its General Election in 2023. To that end, the country recently sent a delegation to Nigeria to consult with that country’s Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The leader of the Liberian delegation was National Elections Commission (NEC) chairperson Davidetta Brown-Lasanah. The other members were Floyd Oxly Sayor and James Dogbey. The former is the Chairperson for Liberia’s 2023 election, while the latter is the agency’s Director of Information Technology. The three-person team spent four days with the INEC in Abuja, Nigeria.
The INEC introduced biometric voting technology back in 2015, and has boasted about the success of the program despite some hiccups with the initial rollout. The meeting with NEC-Liberia was aimed at advancing the interests of the Regional ECOWAS Network of Electoral Commissions (ECONEC), which encourages member states to share electoral knowledge and resources with other countries in the region. The goal was to ensure that all 15 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) would have the ability to run safe and fair elections.
To that end, the Liberian Elections Management Body has expressed interest in a biometric voter registration system. The organization is hoping to conduct a pilot, and has indicated that it could use technology similar to the technology that the INEC is using in Nigeria.
The trip took place almost a year after the Executive Director of Liberia’s National Identification Registry (NIR) asked the government to set aside more funds to improve the country’s biometric registration capabilities. Several African countries have now conducted successful elections with biometric registration tech, though some of the limitations of biometric systems were exposed after voting machines failed when the Ugandan President shut down the country’s internet during an election earlier this year.
Source: The New Dawn
July 30, 2021 – by Eric Weiss