New Mexico Politician Pushes for Biometric Ballots

Biometric Voter RegistrationNew Mexico politician Bill Payne continues to advocate for the consideration of biometric technology in state elections. According a new article from KOB4’s Elizabeth Reed, the Republican Senate Minority Whip asked the secretary of state that the “the benefits, feasibility, and the costs of implementing a voter ID system based on biometric measures be studied.”

Payne pointed to the growing ubiquity and even popularity of biometric technology in making his argument, asserting, “Anyone who watches the NCIS TV drama series can tell you that modern technology is commonly used for authentication purposes.” It could also help to resolve, or at least diminish, a longstanding partisan tension on the issue of voter identification by providing a means of authentication that is simple and easy to access for voters, who would need only their fingers to cast their ballots, rather than an assortment of government-approved documents.

The technology is also already being used in elections in other parts of the world. In a recent parliamentary election in Estonia, for example, where every citizen is issued a biometric identity card that can be used for authentication,  30 percent of the vote came in online. And other countries are starting to embrace such systems as well. Given that some US states are already starting to issue biometric official documents, it may just be a matter of time before Payne’s suggestion bears fruit.

March 6, 2015 – by Alex Perala