Guyanese election official pushes for introduction of biometric voter verification
A member of the Guyanese Electoral Commission (GECOM) submitted a motion to the electoral body asking it to make recommendations to the government for the introduction of biometrics during voting.
According to News Source, Commissioner Vincent Alexander, who first made the proposal earlier this year, is now stepping up his campaign with the tabling of the motion.
In the motion, Alexander wants GECOM to push the government to initiate legislative reforms, if necessary, to allow the use of biometrics at polling stations for voter verification.
Guyana currently uses biometrics for voter registration, but the commissioner believes using the same technology for voter verification will help reduce incidents of duplicate voting in the country’s elections.
When Alexander first raised the idea earlier this year, GECOM said there was a need to carry out feasibility studies to determine whether the introduction of biometrics for voting would be allowed under the provisions. constitutional, News Source reported in a previous report in May.
Alexander, a GECOM commissioner with the left-leaning political alliance APNU+AFC, is pushing for a system in which the fingerprints of potential voters will be checked against those entered into the GECOM database during voter registration.
He backs up his argument with reported cases of identity theft and multiple voting through impersonation during the country’s general election in March 2020. That election included a controversial recount process that prompted international intervention.
The official maintains that GECOM must act now so that the system is operational in time for the next elections, scheduled for 2025.
GECOM will update the list of voters
Meanwhile, in an election-related development, GECOM has announced that it will begin a nationwide claims and objections exercise next week to update entries on the Official Voters List (OLE).
According to a statement from GECOM, the exercise, which will run from August 22 to September 11, will allow potential eligible voters, who have not yet been registered to vote, to do so.
This includes people who will reach the legal voting age of 18 by October 31, 2022, who meet the eligibility criteria for Guyanese nationality, or who are from a Commonwealth country and have resided in Guyana for one year. or more, according to the release.
People with complaints and objections can go to GECOM offices in the ten administrative regions of the country, while existing registrants have been asked to consult preliminary lists to check if their name is on them.
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