‘No Biometrics, No Vote’: Philippines’ Election Commission

'No Biometrics, No Vote': Philippines' Election CommissionThe Philippines’ Commission on Elections, or ‘Comelec’, is expanding its efforts to collect voters’ biometric data in anticipation of next year’s election. The commission has rolled out a campaign with the slogan ‘No Bio, No Boto’, which basically translates to ‘No bio, no vote’.

Voters are being asked to provide their signatures, digital photos of their faces, and their fingerprints as part of the registration process, and this biometric data will indeed be required for voters in the 2016 election. Registration opened in May of 2014, at which time there were 9.6 million eligible voters unregistered. Now, there are still 4.3 million who need to provide their biometric data. Now, to make sure as many voters get signed up as possible, Comelec is working with huge mall operators, youth drives, and celebrities on twitter to try to get the message out, and is also encouraging employers to give staff a bit of time off where possible so that they can go and get signed up.

Increasing numbers of countries around the world are starting to try biometric voter authentication. Nigeria, for example, was recently testing out such a system in a successful trial run; and another unnamed African country has just contracted Iris ID to provide the technology for just such a system. As more elections are successfully carried out in this way, the practice is likely to spread further and at a faster pace, given its convenience and its capacity to cut down on voter fraud.

Source: The Philippine Star

June 22, 2015 – by Alex Perala