Uganda Prepares for Next Month’s Biometric Election

Uganda Prepares for Next Month's Biometric ElectionUganda’s Electoral Commission has announced that biometric voter authentication will be used in next month’s national elections.

The EC has ordered 32,000 thumbprint scanners and will deploy them at 28,010 polling stations for the election. They are programmed to automatically activate at 8:00am on polling day and to shut down at 5:00pm, adding an extra safeguard against electoral fraud. Moreover, the system will automatically verify whether a voter is at her correct polling station, and will direct her to the correct one if not.

The Udandan government began preparing for this biometric election as early as 2014, when it contracted biometric identification technology from Zetes and RealScan0G10 scanners from Suprema to register voters in anticipation of the election. Now, its thumbprint scanners are to come from Smartmatic, which has previously supplied biometric technology to Brazil, Venezuela, the Philippines, and Bolivia.

While at least one Ugandan politician has expressed concern about the effectiveness of this technology, Smartmatic stands by its track record, anticipating alongside other Ugandan officials a smooth, secure election process.

Sources: AllAfrica, K93.3FM, New Vision

January 19, 2016 – by Alex Perala