The Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon has explained how Biometric Voter Verification System (BVVS) will be useful in the forthcoming general elections which starts on 14th January 2021. Below is his full statement on the technology use.
“On behalf of the Electoral Commission and on my own behalf, I welcome all of you to this briefing and public demonstration of the technology the Electoral Commission is deploying for purposes of the 2021 General Elections.
Like in the past elections, technologies and strategies that are aimed at enhancing the level of transparency and accountability in events leading to the voting and Results Transmission system have been put in place.
The purpose of this briefing and public demonstration is, therefore, to bring you on board and obtain your feedback, and seek for your support in disseminating clear information to the general public.
In order to improve accuracy, security, efficiency and credibility in the delivery of electoral services, the Electoral Commission has embarked on deliberate actions to integrate technology in its operations and systems.
Accordingly, in preparation for the General Elections, 2021, the Electoral Commission has acquired biometric voter verification machines which will be used to verify voters who present themselves at polling stations on polling day.
Out of the above consignment, two thousand (2,000) units have been purchased while thirty-six thousand five hundred (36,500) have been leased from Smartmatic International, a leading technology firm based in The Netherlands.
The Biometric Voter Verification (BVV) machines will be deployed at all the 34,684 (thirty-four thousand six hundred and eighty-four) polling stations in Uganda during the upcoming General Elections.
The BVV System is one of the new measures aimed at improving the management and conduct of elections in Uganda through authentication of voter identity. This biometric voter verification system basically uses fingerprints to match voter details which will help the Presiding Officer to confirm the identity of the voter as being the one on the Voters’ Register of that particular polling station.
The BVVS System will enable the Commission to ensure that only registered persons vote during the elections and that such persons (voters) do not vote more than once for the same election. Hence, the BVV System will help the Commission greatly improved the identification of voters and also addressed the challenge of voter impersonation during elections.
The BVV System will also assist in the search of a voter’s details, by reading the unique bar code on the Voter Location Slip.
This system will also help a voter to locate his/her polling station within the district, in case they turn up at a polling station where they are not registered.
The training for field staff on the use of Biometric voter verification equipment has been going on at National and Regional level and will be concluded with the training of the Presiding Officer and the one Polling Assistant for the BVV Machine before polling day.
Political parties and independent candidates are urged to appoint and deploy their agents to attend the training so that they get familiar with the operations of the machines.
The Commission has designed a plan for the timely dispatch of the machines to all districts in time for the polling.
The Commission calls upon all the stakeholders in the electoral process to follow the guidelines for the use of this biometric verification technology, so that we get the desired result, which is a fraud-free election. For God and my Country,” Justice Byabakama Mugenyi Simon, Chairperson, Electoral Commission