ICT Africa Headline News

Implementing Biometrics-Based Systems - Electronic Voting Selection Criteria

11 June, 2014

Source: New Era

 
Electronic voting, known as e-voting, is to be used later this year when Namibia goes to the National Assembly and Presidential polls. Also the 8th International Electoral Affairs Symposium 2014 is aimed at building confidence and trust in the electoral process, which will also be held from on June 25th - 27th in Kenya.

On this basis researchers at the Biometric Research laboratory, BRL, have decided to dedicate this article on electronic voting selection criteria. E-voting technology is being increasingly used around the world. In particular, the market in Third World countries is growing at an alarming rate. However, some European countries are moving in the opposite direction. For example, India now uses e-voting machines exclusively for all elections. The U.S., which is a global leader in e-voting, uses different voting systems in different counties. German stopped the use of e-voting after several decades of using e-voting machines.

This results in a number of questions such as why some countries are moving to e-voting while others are moving away from the technology. How does any country decide whether e-voting technology is the right approach and when is it advisable to proceed using the technology? There is no single answer. The answer for each country is complex and requires detailed research and consultation with specialists.

The initial step in implementing e-voting is the decision making process concerning the adoption of the e-voting technology. This process will vary considerably from one country to another. However, irrespective of the country implementing e-voting, a decision to implement e-voting is likely to meet the needs of the electoral commissioners if some criterions are met such as:

- Open consultation with electoral stakeholders in the respective countries.

- Independent comprehensive research into available technologies.

- E-voting technology must be evaluated against well defined objectives for implementation the technology.

In summary, the decision process to use e-voting consisting of:

- First of all, assessing whether there is a problem with the current voting;

- Secondly, assessing the technical feasibility of addressing the problem with the technology;

- Finally, assessing the anticipated benefits and potential risks, financial feasibility and stakeholders' reactions to the technology.

Researchers from the Biometric Research Laboratory (BRL), show that it is vital to understand both the benefits and weaknesses of the e-voting technology. Implementing e-voting technology is complex and requires comprehensive research and consultations.More information on the implementation of biometrics based solutions can be requested from risco. mutelo@namibiabiometricsystems.com or u2risco@live.co.uk .

Dr Risco Mutelo is a Namibian who currently works for the Bank of America stationed in London where he studied Biometrics Engineering at New Castle University in the United Kingdom.


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