The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission is going ahead with a plan for biometric voter registration for the country’s 2018 elections.
The ZEC first announced it was considering the idea near the start of this year, with a spokesperson pointing to examples of biometric polling in Kenya and Ghana. Now, it has secured $50 million in finding for the project, with help from the United Nations Development Programme.
Bulawayo 24 News reports that the ZEC has already selected a biometric voter registration system that has been used elsewhere on the continent, and quotes a senior elections officer as telling The Sunday Mail that the Commission “is in the preparatory stages of the process.”
While biometric voter registration could help to improve the electoral process in the country, the government’s interest in biometric solutions could extend to other areas too. This past spring, a senior economist with the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe called on the government to implement a biometric payroll system, suggesting that it could dramatically help to cut down administrative costs, as appears to have been the case in Nigeria.
But that, of course, is beyond the ZEC’s purview, and for its part the Commission will no doubt be focused on getting its biometric voter registration project off the ground over the next several months.
Source: Bulawayo 24 News