The EC unveiled the workability of the Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) yesterday. Such technologies are aimed at enhancing the level of transparency and accountability in events leading to the voting and Results Transmission system.
The EC, in their public demonstration sought to bring on board and obtain public feedback. The commission also sought support in disseminating clear information to the general public. In order to improve accuracy, security, efficiency and credibility in the delivery of electoral services, the Commission has embarked on deliberate actions to integrate technology in its operations and systems.
Accordingly, in preparation fro the 2021 general elections, the Commission has acquired the BVVM which will be used to verify voters who present themselves at polling stations on polling day. Out of the above consignment, two thousand units were purchased while 36500 were leased from Smartmatic International, a leading technology firm based in the Netherlands.
The BVVM will be deployed at all the 34684 polling stations in Uganda during the upcoming elections. The system is one of the new measures aimed at improving the management and conduct of elections in Uganda through authentication of voter identity. It uses fingerprints to match voter details which will help the Presiding officer to confirm the identity of the voter as being the one on the Voters’ Register of that particular polling station.
The system will enable the commission to ensure that only registered persons vote during the elections and that such persons do not vote more than once for the same election. Hence, the BVV system will help the commission greatly improve the identification of voters and also addressed the challenge of voter impersonation during elections.
Through the ability to read the unique bar code on the Voter Location Slip, will help a voter to locate his or her polling station within the district should they turn up at a polling station where they are not registered.
The Commission reported that the training of field staff on the use of the BVV equipment has been ongoing at National and Regional level and will be conducted with the training of the Presiding Officer and the one polling assistant for the BVVM before polling day.
Political parties and independent candidates are urged to appoint and deploy their agents to attend the training so that they get familiar with the operations of the machines. The commission designed a plan for the timely dispatch of the machines to all districts in time for the polling. Further, it called upon the stakeholders in the electoral process to follow the guidelines for the use of this biometric verification technology to acquire the desired result; a fraud-free election.
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