Uganda will improve general election transparency using biometric technology

By mahlokoane percy ngwato

On February 18th Uganda’s general elections will take place. The Electoral Commission of Uganda is partnering with Smartmatic, a leading electronic voting technology company, to use a biometric voter authentication technology solution that validates the identity of voters prior to ballot casting.

Smartmatic has developed a central system to store and manage the biographic and biometric information of all registered voters. This system, which will be synchronized with Uganda’s National ID database, will perform quality control and integrity checks, and will convert all the data into a format that can be used to process votes with accuracy and speed when the election takes place.

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Sam Rwakoojo, Secretary of the Uganda Electoral Commission said: “Voter identity management is a critical task in any election. Thanks to this partnership we will provide our field operators with the technology, services and know-how necessary to guarantee a successful transparent election. By validating the identity of each voter via biometrics with accuracy and speed, we will ensure the principle of ‘one voter – one vote’ in Uganda.”

Smartmatic will also supply and configure all hardware and software to run the verification platform with some 30,500 biometric devices being deployed across 30,000 polling stations. In addition, equipment warehousing, maintenance and dispatch, project management and election training is being provided to poll workers and election officials.

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Dr Khodr Akil, Smartmatic’s Vice President for Sales, Africa said: “We welcome opportunities like this to put our experience and the work of our Research & Development labs into action. Biometrics is an extremely efficient tool to improve election transparency and facilitate polling station management. With just ten days to go until the elections, we are proud to be helping Uganda take this step forward.”

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