New technology introduced on the basis of biometric identification in Somaliland has been deemed quite successful by the government. Authorities used new technology known as IRIS ID to register voters prior to the country’s election. The hopes are that this new technology will help weed out duplicate votes and help to maintain integrity in the country’s voting process. New outlets within the country have stated that as many as 30,000 votes have been saved that would have been processed.
According to a report on the subject, “In addition to being effective, Iris ID’s technology was also found to be highly efficient. One consultant for the National Electoral Commission has asserted that compared to fingerprint-based registration, iris recognition enabled authorities to halve the time it takes for voter registration.” The VP of the project Mohammed Murad stated that this new technology has given Somaliland “the most sophisticated voter registration system in Africa — really anywhere in the world.” This may be true, which is quite a large step for many larger nations. To see something like this work on a small scale could potentially change how voting works in many other nations.
This new technology could potentially be a breakthrough for voting that can often be interfered with or otherwise uncontrolled. Biometric data has been criticized by the public as not being secure enough to be used, but instances like this continue to combat this idea. It is clear that the benefits for using this new technology far outweigh the cons that are presented. Obviously, with such a new technology, there are many questions left unanswered, but this will likely be solved in the following days. The hopes are high that this new system can become a positive step for many countries looking to change how their populations vote.