Electronic Biometric Verification of Voters in Pakistan: a Silver Bullet?
Reacting to allegations of widespread voter impersonation (or “election rigging”, as commonly referred to in Pakistan) the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) attempted to conduct audits in several constituencies to determine the extent of multiple voting and voter impersonation. This should have been possible by comparing the fingerprints in the voters’ rolls with the fingerprints captured by polling officials. The audit results were inconclusive – while there was some evidence of multiple voting, the matter remained largely unresolved. The main obstacle for an effective audit was the poor quality of voter verification carried out by polling officials and the poor quality of ink for fingerprints.