Liberia plans biometric voter register with registration starting in December

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Liberia’s National Electoral Commission has announced its preliminary plans for 2023, which include the transition from optical mark recognition for secure voter registration to fingerprint biometrics

NEC President Davidetta Browne Lansanah told a press conference that handheld tablets with fingerprint scanners will be used to capture fingerprints for a biometric voter register, Liberia’s New Dawn reports. Biometrics could also be used for deduplication and identity theft prevention.

Facial images will also be collected and the NEC will attempt to reduce the volume of incorrect voter data in the system.

After deduplication, biometric voter cards will be issued by registration centers.

A biometric voter registration initiative is scheduled to begin on December 15, 2022 and end on March 17, 2023. The process will take place in three regional phases, according to the announcement. During each phase, the region’s registration center will be open for three weeks.

Before starting, the NEC plans to develop custom registration software, set up servers, have staff trained by the technology provider, and take possession of the imported biometric hardware.

The Commission has been budgeted for US$61 million for the 2023 elections in Liberia.

The NEC and the National ID Registry of Liberia contacted political parties earlier this year to inform them that the biometric registry was being planned.

Browne Lansanah is facing lawsuits over allegations that an expensive contract for fever-screening biometric scanners was wrongly awarded.

Article topics

Africa | biometrics | digital identification | elections | fingerprint biometrics | Liberia | voting record

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