Philippines: Iris biometrics to enhance voter registration 

Iris and fingerprint biometrics could be added to facial recognition to reduce the rate of duplicated voter registrations. The Commission on Elections of the Philippines is seeking legislation that would expand biometric modalities that can be used during registration, which would also strengthen onboarding and help to lessen cases of voter fraud. Voters are required to submit a photograph, digital signature, and fingerprint samples. The additional requirements that could come into force in the Philippines mirror recent changes to the UK election system, whereby voters now have to provide proof of photo ID that was previously not required.

Cormelec estimated 400,000 double voters for the barangay polls and 500,000 Filipino voters. The Commission on Elections of the Philippines deleted any unverified voter registrations from national and local databases.

Comelec Spokesperson, John Rex Laudiangco said: “We are pushing for a law that will be called an expanded automated biometrics identification system.”

“What we want is to register more biometrics data, particularly iris scanning and capturing 10 fingers.”

Liberia: Problems with citizen biometric voter registration 

In April, BiometricUpdate.com reported that Liberia’s biometric registration system was marred by fundamental flaws, system failures and inadequate training for enrolment staff, leading politicians to criticise the disappointing initial registration phase.

With voters let down by machine failures when they visit a collection centre, there could be massive repercussions on citizen participation in national and local elections.

“If people get impatient and leave because the system breaks down and they don’t come back to register, we may not register enough eligible voters,” says election expert, Oscar Bloh.