Pakistan Province Looks Into Biometrics for Polling

Virtual AcceptanceA provincial government in Pakistan wants to introduce a biometric identification system into its electoral polling, and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has been looking into the possibility, writes Inamullah Khattak in Pakistan’s The Nation.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province inquired with the electoral regulator to see if it could be done in time for a November 15th election, but the ECP has already concluded that installing such a system would take at least six months. Explaining the difficulties of implementing such a system, one ECP official raised concerns about process, noting that the biometric devices might “fail to identify the genuine voter” on election day. “How will we resolve the litigation?” he asked.

Such concerns are echoed throughout the world, but biometric identification nevertheless seems poised to play a big role in the elections of the future. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s gesture towards the technology echoes a similar, much more comprehensive program in India being pushed forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is trying to set up a biometric database of citizens as part of his Digital India initiative. Meanwhile, in Switzerland and Estonia, electronic voting is already commonplace, offering further opportunities for biometric technology providers to help secure elections going forward.

October 29, 2014 – by Alex Perala