Liberia’s National Elections Commission (NEC) said it will deploy a biometric-based voter identification system for use during the country’s 2023 Presidential and General Elections.
Stakeholders, including the African Youth Peer Review Committee (AYPRC), have lobbied the regulator to introduce the system to help prevent any form of manipulation of results.
NEC chairperson Davidetta Browne Lansanah said the electoral commission wants to avoid any post-election conflict over data and registration, as has happened in the past.
Lansanah said the biometric system would secure voters’ roll and the integrity of the election process, including voter registration, voter verification and the transmission of results. It will also address issues including that of a single voter registering more than once and/or a registered voter attempting to cast more than one vote.
Lansanah added: “Biometric voter registration ensures that there is the accuracy of information collected and the creation of voter identification for each voter. It also has the ability to trace all acts of impersonation, removes all duplicated records of voter registration and the eradication of issues of unintentional errors during data entry process. We will make sure that the system is properly utilised for the best interest of all eligible voters and the country in general.”
The Elections Coordinating Committee (ECC), a consortium of civil society organisations, said it while it welcomes the use of biometric-based voter registration, there is still a need for vigilance.
The ECC said: “The NEC needs to inform the public which model of the biometric voter registration that has been selected and what the pros and cons associated with its usage. The NEC should inform the public about the profile of the vendor that was selected and its track record in managing biometric voter registrations.”
The NEC said the transition from a manual Optical Marl Recognition (OMR) system to biometric-based technology to register voters will begin in December this year.