A day after CEO Abdullah Abdullah said an agreement had been reached on the use of a biometric system in elections, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) said it is working on the issue and has been dealing with a German company.
“The issue which is being worked on is the use of a biometric system on October 20 (Election Day). Our assessments have been completed by up to 70 percent, but there are still questions in this regard. We hope that we can find answers for them,” said Hafizullah Hashemi, the IEC spokesman.
He said they will announce a final decision after consultations with political parties.
Meanwhile, sources said that government has agreed to a German company providing the biometric system for elections. The project, is worth 15 million euros, and the company will send 24,000 units and other necessary equipment to Kabul by October 10, sources said.
“It includes a printer which prints the picture of (a person’s) face, finger prints and Tazkira and sticker,” Hashemi said.
Hashemi said the biometric units would be installed at more than 5,000 polling centers across the country on election day.
The IEC says voters will be included in the biometric system through an online system in areas with internet services while this will be done offline in areas with no internet connection.
“The IEC should assure the people that the system will be managed properly,” said Yusuf Rasheed, CEO of the Free and Fair Election of Afghanistan.
Parliamentary elections have been scheduled for October 20.
Use Of ‘Modern Technology’ For Elections
President Ashraf Ghani in August directed the Central Statistic Organization (CSO) to use “modern technology” to specify the exact number of voters who will cast their votes at polling stations on election day.
According to Ghani’s decree, the CSO was ordered to cooperate with the Independent Election Commission (IEC), security agencies and other relevant institutions in determining the exact number of registered voters.
In the decree, the Ministry of Finance and the National Procurement Authority have been ordered to cooperate with the CSO and other departments in the allocation of budget and procurement for the technology.
Afghanistan's Central Civil Registration Authority (ACCRA) has said that they are ready to help the CSO determine the voter numbers.
The decree does not state details about whether a biometric system will be used to identify voters on election day.
Statistics by the Independent Election Commission show that over nine million voters have registered their names for the upcoming elections.