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Biometric identification system


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DEFEAT of Chaudhry Nisar in the recount, amongst other proofs of rigging shown on TV, is enough to give credence to the widespread protest.

On the other hand, the Secretary of the Election Commission of Pakistan says that elections were 94 per cent fair and acknowledged so by the international media. This does not hold water.

There is no question so far about the personal integrity of Fakhru Bhai, but there are questions about his competence to handle this onerous job. The result is frustration about the credibility of the present electoral process.

Under these circumstances, if time and resources permit, we should introduce biometric identification system in identifying voters in all the re-elections and most certainly in all future elections, unless computer technology presented still better options.

Nadra has a complete record of fingerprints of all CNIC holders, i.e., the voters. This master data with Nadra can be linked with the computers at each polling station.

All that is needed is to have finger impression of every voter on the glassy gadget and compare it with the fingerprint on the master data to verify his credential and then tick his vote.

There will thus be no fictitious or multiple voting, as seen on TV. It will ensure automatic identification of the right person and will curb fraud. This is so necessary to evoke confidence in the public

It is worth a try as it is already working satisfactorily in several countries like the Philippines, Jamaica, Argentina and Cambodia.

S.M. ANWAR Karachi

Comments (6) Closed

O Khan May 21, 2013 04:30pm
In our beloved Pakistan where every other person (including me) is corrupt how can we expect fair elections !! The elections remind me of the article on Dawn "I delivered that no-ball" published in 2010, when the no ball incident happened in UK.
AA May 21, 2013 09:10am
Absolutely right. 100% agreed. Pakistani voting system is tedious, hideous and illogical. Biometric identification system is the way it should be. NADRA has all the thumb prints. I do not see what is the issue. If you want to run the country on democracy, al least the voting system must be digitalized.
AA May 21, 2013 09:15am
Agreed. But this will end gradually hopefully as democracy will mature and people will reject all sorts of non-sense. yet it is a must to change the system. At least, we can ensure that 95% votes are genuine. The insanity can be controlled somewhat.
MTM May 21, 2013 10:49am
I am a strong supporter of the idea. Additionally, various kiosks can be installed at every polling station along with the bio-metric system linked to the kiosk, where once the finger/thumb print is authenticated, the voter taps the party's sign on the kiosk and its done - the vote is cast. No paper work, no messy ink, no snatching of ballot boxes and certainly, not multiple or fictitious votes. Counting will be a snap and results can be announced very soon.
Husain Jan May 21, 2013 06:56am
It is widely believed that Fakhru bhai was helpless against powerful political mafia as many of ECP decisions and directives were not followed by the caretakers. If really so helpless then the best course for CEC would have been to resign or at least...repeat at least to publicly express his helplessness. This would have surely saved his dignity from getting badly dented. By choosing to remain silent on non-implementation of his directives and by not agreeing to demands of all but one parties to call troops in whole of Karachi on May 11 Fakhru bhai's reputation of being a man of principle stands badly dented in the eyes of masses. He still has time to damage control by ordering verification of thumb impressions in all such constituencies where there are allegations of rigging and should not recover any charges for this from the candidates as announced lately.
NaMaloom Afrad May 21, 2013 05:40am
Ever heard of "made to vote on gun point"? No, not the figurative meaning, I'm talking about the actual meaning. That's exactly what a certain 'political' party did here in Karachi and Hyderabad!