#Article (Archive)

Biometrics voter registration a welcome initiative

Jan 15, 2010, 1:31 PM

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is on the verge of introducing a biometrics voter registration system in the country.

We welcome this development as a brilliant endeavour, considering its benefits to society.

We look forward to seeing it as happening in other parts of the world, as voter registration forms an integral component of ensuring free, fair and transparent election.

Undoubtedly, this is another boost for the country's electoral system.

The introduction of the new system is both timely and relevant as the country is about to hold general elections next year.

Our only concern with the bimetrics system is that it's too costly, though cost effective.

Nonetheless, the benefits accrued from it are enormous, such as controlling malpractice in electioneering process. For example, deterring people from voting more than once, preventing unregistered voters from voting, etc.

It also ensures non-duplication, cross matching, security of cards, avoid missing names, among others. With these many benefits, we must not let this opportunity slip away because it would ensure a credible election.

While we acknowledge these noble efforts by the IEC and its partners, we should be mindful of its cost implications, and thus make it durable.

The Gambia is making significant progress in the area of biometrics as most of our national documents, including ID cards, Pass Port and Voter Registration Cards would sooner or later become biometrics.

We only hope that the biometrics will further enhance our electoral process.