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Examining The Impact Of Biometric Technology Integration In Liberia’s General Elections On Democracy: Benefits, Limitations, Pros, And Cons

By Willie Bee Tingba, Jr
The integration of biometric technology in Liberia’s general elections has become a popular topic of discussion in recent years. Biometric technology has gained prominence in the electoral process worldwide, and Liberia is not an exception and it should be seen as an important aspect of the electoral process in Liberia. Biometric refers to the use of technology to identify individuals through physical characteristics such as fingerprints, facial recognition, iris scans, etc. Voters are required to present themselves at the polling stations, where their biometric data is scanned and matched against the data stored in the system. This process would ensures that only eligible voters can participate in the election. The system generates a receipt, which is used to mark the voter as being present.
This process can be implemented to ensure the accuracy of voters’ identification and eliminate issues of fraud and duplication. Over the years, Liberia’s elections have been plagued by allegations of electoral fraud, but biometric technology integration can help to curb these issues.
Liberia has a complex political landscape with many political parties and multiple elections is expected to be conducted simultaneously. As such, ensuring the integrity of the electoral process is vital for democracy. The biometric system can help to prevent impersonation and fraudulent voting, which had been rampant in the past. The biometric system wills also help to reduce the possibility of duplicate voting, which had been a significant problem in the previous elections.
Furthermore, biometric technology integration has increased the efficiency of the electoral process. Manual identification of voters and vote counting take time and are prone to errors. Biometric identification eliminates the need for manual identification, making the process faster and more accurate. Vote counting is also automated, making it faster and more transparent.
However, the effectiveness of biometric integration in Liberia’s elections depends on the proper functioning of the technology. There might be challenges with the proper functioning of voting machines, leading to delays in the voting process. Therefore, measures need to be put in place to ensure that these machines are properly maintained and serviced to avoid any issues during the election.
Benefits of Biometric Integration:
One of the main benefits of biometric integration in Liberia’s general elections is the elimination of multiple voting. Biometric technology can help prevent multiple voting by ensuring that each voter’s identity is verified before they cast their vote. This helps to improve the accuracy and transparency of the electoral process.
Increased accuracy and transparency are two key benefits of biometric integration in Liberia’s upcoming general elections. Only eligible voters are registered, and each voter is limited to one vote, thanks to biometric technology. Hence, multiple registrations and votes are avoided, both of which can compromise the integrity of the democratic process. The effect on democracy of integrating biometrics into the elections is another important benefit. The use of biometric identification during elections ensures that voting is free and fair and that each voter’s vote is counted. In nations like Liberia, where there has been political and electoral violence in the past, this is essential.
Biometric technology helps to increase the accuracy of the voter registration process, reducing the chances of errors and inaccuracies in the electoral roll. This can help to reduce the risk of fraud and other irregularities in the electoral process.
Biometric technology can also improve transparency in the electoral process. The use of biometric technology can improve the transparency of the election process by making it easier to detect and prevent electoral fraud. It can also help to promote public confidence in the electoral process, which is essential for a thriving democracy.
Finally, biometric technology can help to speed up the voting process, reducing waiting times and ensuring that more people have the opportunity to vote. This can help to increase voter turnout and promote democratic participation.
Advantage of Biometric Integration:
One of the main advantages of biometric integration is that it can help to increase the integrity of the electoral process by reducing the risk of electoral fraud. The use of biometric technology can make it more difficult for individuals to vote multiple times, impersonate someone else, or engage in other fraudulent activities.
Another advantage of biometric integration is that it can help to improve the accuracy of the electoral roll, reducing the likelihood of errors and inaccuracies. This can help to ensure that all eligible voters are registered and that their votes are counted correctly.
Biometric technology can also help to increase voter confidence in the electoral process, thereby promoting democratic values. When voters are confident that their votes will be counted accurately and that the process is fair, they are more likely to participate in the electoral process and support democratic institutions.
Finally, biometric technology can help to improve the efficiency of the electoral process, reducing waiting times and increasing voter turnout.
Disadvantage of Biometric Integration:
Despite the advantages of biometric technology, there are also some disadvantages. One disadvantage is technical difficulties. Biometric technology is not foolproof and can be subject to technical difficulties. Technical issues with the equipment could lead to delays or disruptions in the voting process.
Another disadvantage is the privacy concerns associated with biometric technology. Biometric technology involves the collection and storage of personal data, such as fingerprints or facial recognition data. This could raise concerns about privacy and data protection. If not properly secured, this data could be compromised, leading to potential security breaches.
The use of biometric technology could also be vulnerable to hacking or cyber-attacks. If a system is compromised, the integrity of the electoral process could be at risk. This vulnerability could undermine the credibility of the election, leading to disputes or challenges to the outcome.
One of the most significant disadvantages of biometric technology is limited access. Not all voters may have access to the technology required for biometric verification. This could lead to some voters being disenfranchised. It is important to ensure that all voters have equal access to the technology required for biometric verification. The use of biometric technology also requires training and education for both election officials and voters. If proper training is not provided, the technology may not be used effectively. This lack of training could lead to delays, mistakes, or other issues during the voting process.
In conclusion, biometric integration in Liberia’s upcoming General Elections has both pros and cons. While the technology has the potential to increase accuracy, efficiency, and transparency in the electoral process, it also raises concerns about privacy, data protection, and potential technical difficulties. It is important for election officials to carefully consider these pros and cons before implementing biometric technology in the upcoming elections. Additionally, proper training and education should be provided to both election officials and voters to ensure that the technology is used effectively. Ultimately, the use of biometric technology should be evaluated based on the specific needs and circumstances of the election.

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