Electoral Commission launched the Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) equipment yesterday raising concerns about the timing in regards to voting day. The biometric system uses human body characteristics like to confirm a person’s identity.
The machine identifies a voter and his or her voting status by using either a thumbprint or a barcode on the back of the national ID [identification] or a barcode on the voter location’s list that EC will be issuing to match them with voter details which will help the election officer to confirm that the voter is on the roll of that polling station.
“The BVV System aims at improving the integrity of the electoral process through authentication of voter identity”. EC chairperson Dr Badru Kiggundu said.
The EC director for technical support services, Mr Pontius Namugera confirmed that the 32,334 machines to cater for the 28,010 polling stations in the country have already been delivered and EC has already begun training its officers in how to use the system.
In case of any technical problems or malfunctions as it has happened in some African countries during polling there are backup machines.
“We have about 1,400 sub-counties in Uganda and each sub-county will have at least two machines that will be used in case there is a technical problem on one of the machines within that sub-county.” Jotham Taremwa confirmed
While launching the system, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga raised a number of concerns including securing the machines and how people with disabilities will use the technology. There were other concerns from different stakeholders including the opposition about timing and applicability of the biometric system. The announcement that Uganda will for the first time in history to employ the system comes less than a month to the commencement of the much anticipated national elections.