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What is Biometrics Voting?
Biometrics voting is the use of Biometrics Technology in an Electoral process to aid in Biometric Voter Registration and Biometric Voter Authentication.
Biometrics Voting attempts to establish the True identity of a would be Voter before allowing them to participate in an Electioneering process to cast a Vote.
The Sole purpose of Biometrics Voting is to guarantee a Verifiable, Quantifiable and an Acceptable Vote Result across the board for all Competing Entities.
The 2 Major Steps of Biometrics Voting
In any Electoral process that encompasses the use of Biometrics, the following two (2) major steps are employed. They are;
- Biometrics Voter Registration
- Biometrics Voter Authentication
Biometrics Voter Registration
What is Biometric Voter Registration?
Biometric Voter Registration is the Capturing of Biometric Data and Unique Person Identifying Details for later use in Biometric Voter Verification of a would be Voter before they can be allowed to Vote.
During Biometric Voter Registration, a would be future Voter has their Biometrics Data captured and enrolled into a Voter System Database alongside their other self-identifying particulars like their Name, National Identity Number, Voter Registration Number, Gender, Date of Birth, Voter Region.
This is the Data that should be retrieved to prove their true identity when they present themselves to a Voter station and use their Biometric Data from e.g. Fingerprint for Biometric Authentication.
Biometrics Voter Authentication
What is Biometric Voter Authentication?
Biometric Voter Authentication is the Verification of a Voter’s identity by use of Biometrics to ascertain their True identity before allowing them to exercise their Democratic right to Vote.
Biometric Voter Authentication can be either of the following;
- Biometrics Voter Identification
- Biometrics Voter Verification
Biometrics Voter Identification
What is Biometrics Voter Identification?
Biometrics Voter Identification is the process of authenticating a Voter from a Biometrics Database of other Enrolled Voters by use of their Captured Biometric Data only.
In Biometrics Voter Identification a Voter would not be required to produce any Documentation like an Identity Card, only Biometrics would be used to Authenticate them.
Biometrics Voter Identification is not very commonly relied upon save for in Electoral processes where the Voting Exercise has few participants like in an organization, company, school setup.
Biometrics Voter Verification
What is Biometric Voter Verification?
Biometrics Voter Verification is the process of authenticating a Voter from a Biometrics Database of other Enrolled Voters by use of their Voter Registration Details like National Identity Card Number, Voter Registration Card Number together with their Captured Biometric Data.
In an Ideal Biometrics Voter Verification process, a Voter would avail their National Identity Card Number, Voter Registration Card Number and their Biometrics Data from e.g. their Fingerprint.
The Clerks at the Polling station would use these to retrieve information from the Voting System Database and ascertain the Voter is who they allege to be before they are allowed to proceed and cast their Vote.
Biometrics Voter Registration Process Flow
What happens during Biometrics Voter Registration?
- A would be Voter walks to a Poll Station.
- Voter produces means to Physically identify themselves e.g. by producing National ID Card, Passport, Employee Card, School ID Card, College University ID Card or any other recognized and trusted forms of identification.
- After a would be voter is Physically identified, their particulars including Names , Gender, Identification NO together with their Biometric data are captured and saved into Biometric Voting System Database during the Registration Exercise.
- Voter's Registration Data is archived in Biometric Voting System and should only be used for the sole purpose of Biometric Voter Identification and Verification during the day of Voting to ascertain validity of Voter and prevent incidences of Voters attempting to cast Vote more than once.
IMPORTANT: Where Biometrics Technology is correctly put to use in a Voting Exercise, for Success to be achieved, the Biometrics Authentication process should be coupled together with the Voting Process such that immediately after Biometrics Voter Authentication, the Voter is presented with the option of casting their Vote on the same Computer or the Biometric Voting System unit.
Decoupling Biometrics Voter Authentication activity from the Vote Casting activity itself is what brings about shambles, inconsistencies, distrust in the whole Electioneering process and finally the ultimate blame on Biometrics for the failure and malpractices in a Voting Exercise Process.
There should never be need of separating the two.
Issuing Voters with Printed Papers with Candidates to tick against after Biometrics Voter Authentication is the wrong way to do it. This process design flow is usually flawed from the very onset.
The Computer units used for Biometric Voting Authentication and for Casting Vote should have a Touch Screen VDU (Visual Display Unit). If any Biometrics Company that Designs and Manufactures Biometrics Voting Systems that do not meet this feature, they are a Scam!
Immediately after the Computer that is doing Biometric Voter Authentication has verified the Voter, it should right there and then pop a Panel on the Computer screen with Pictures and Names of Candidates vying for elective positions so that a Voter can touch the one they want and press the Vote button. It should be as simple as that! No Paper work!
Biometrics Voter Authentication and Vote Casting Process Flow
What should happen during a Biometric Voter Authentication and Vote Casting process?
As mentioned earlier, Biometrics Voter Authentication and Vote Casting should NOT be decoupled from each other. Vote Casting should be a continuation of Biometric Voter Authentication if the Voter was indeed Successfully Verified.
The following are series of steps that describe what transpires in an ideal Biometrics Voter Authentication and Vote Casting Process flow. They are;
- Biometrically Registered Voters present themselves for Biometric Verification.
- After a voter is identified, system displays a Green Vote Now Button otherwise for NON-IDENTIFIED Voters the button will not be displayed by system.
- Biometrically Verified Voters press Vote Now Button to prompt the system to avail the panel with candidates vying for various elective positions.
- A voter the proceeds to vote for a candidate of their choice from their various categories e.g. President Candidate A, President Candidate B or President Candidate C from the category President.
- Once a voter casts their vote for a particular category by pressing a Vote Now Button with the name of their preferred candidate, the category disappears from the screen.
- After a voter is done with voting, they should then press a Red 'Leave Ballot Box' Button to pave way for the next voter to cast their vote too. Technically, this can be used to exit a Voter who has already cast their vote from the Queue or trigger a notification to the next Voter via SMS that they are the next in line.
- Voting for a single voter should NOT take more than 1 minute
It should be that easy and straight forward. No paper work! No monkey business! No fraudulent dealings away from the Voting system, No Distrust but a Clean Biometric Voting Process where the Loser is Happy to lose fairly, the Winner’s Victory is not in contempt and everyone else across the board is Happy!
The Problems with any Biometrics Voting Systems are mostly pegged to how the Biometrics Voting Authentication and Vote Casting is done. As long as the two activities are being separately done from each other, Problems of all manner are set to ensue.
It is still unfathomable why, with the current level of technology that is currently available as of today, why Biometric Companies which Design and Develop Biometric Voting kits do not consider / prefer to ignore the need of carrying out both Biometrics Authentication and Vote casting in one unit?
Biometrics companies should recommend this practice to their clients the governments, institutions, organizations and companies who Buy their Biometrics Voting kits.
Benefits of Biometrics Voting
What are the Advantages of Biometrics Voting over conventional methods of voting?
- High degree of Voter Verification which eliminates Human Errors.
- Biometrics Voting eliminates Human Errors during Voter Registration. It eliminates possible instances of Double or Multiple Registration of an Individual.
- Very High Accuracy during Biometric Voter Verification and Verification time is less than 2 seconds unlike a Manual process where Voter Verification is carried out by Humans.
- Biometrics Voting will discriminate against NON-registered voters. The voting button will not be available to aliens that present themselves to Vote who were not initially Biometrically Registered.
- Results from Biometric Voting exercise are more agreeable to Voters and the vying Candidates because of the High levels of Integrity, Accuracy and Authenticity that Biometric systems guarantee.
- Biometrics Voting results are available immediately the last person has cast their vote if the Biometric Voting unis consolidate their data in real time into a single collation Server.
- Voters vote for all their Candidates in one instance after Biometric Verification.
- There are no spoiled votes and voters can have the Flexibility to choose to vote for some Candidates in certain Positions and not vote for Candidates in other positions.
- Ethical values and levels of accountability are emboldened among Voters.
- Choosing Biometrics Voting is choosing civility and desire to uphold integrity in an Electoral process which cannot be guaranteed from other Voting methods which can be easily manipulated and overall result tampered with to suit whichever side that exceeds the cunningness and shrewdness’ of their adversaries.
Disadvantages of Biometrics Voting
What are some of the demerits of Biometrics Voting?
- Equipment need to be electronically powered (Laptop will not function without battery charge in situations where power goes off).