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Biometrics - News

Iris ID to help create fraud-free voter registration list for African government

Published on 3 June, 2015
Iris ID product was selected due to its accuracy at detecting duplicate registration attempts and its speed of enrollment

During trial 2014 programme Iris ID technology was able to identify 457 duplicate registration

Iris ID, a leading provider of iris biometric technology, recently announced that its iris recognition solution has been selected by the government of an African nation to help create a fraud-free voter registration list and ensure fair 2015 national elections.

The country’s election commission was tasked with completing a voter registration list in time for national elections this year. Of the country’s estimated 3.5 million residents, about 1.2 million are registered to vote.

Initially, the commission planned to use a fingerprint biometric for registration. But after research and input from international election consultants, the Iris ID product was selected due to its accuracy at detecting duplicate registration attempts and its speed of enrollment. The system identifies registered voters based on the unique characteristics of the iris.

Iris ID technology able to identify duplicate registrations

During a 2014 trial programme, the election commission found the Iris ID technology was able to accurately identify 457 instances of duplicate registrations seeded into a base of 1,062 registrations. Speed of enrollment also worked in the Iris ID’s favor.

Roy Dalle Vedove, a prominent international elections specialist and election commission consultant, said data quality determines the reliability of a database — that’s especially true with biometrics. Obtaining good biometric data requires high quality acquisition hardware and software.

Faster process also reduced labor costs

He said the Iris ID technology provided the needed quality, while reducing the enrollment time by half compared to fingerprint registration. The faster process also reduced labor costs, which represented more than two-thirds of the commission’s registration budget.

Iris ID technology provided the needed quality, while reducing the enrollment time by half compared to fingerprint registration

“That speed is significant in an environment where the elections provide an immutable deadline,” Vedove said. “And we completed the process with high quality data enrollment that proved the iris matching would definitely identify attempts at duplicate registration.”

Iris recognition regarded to be accurate

Every iris pattern is unique and stable for life and since there are more readily measurable characteristics in the iris, iris recognition is regarded to be the most accurate, fastest, and scalable option for both small and large-scale biometric deployments. Other biometric modalities such as fingerprint, hand, voice, vein and facial characteristics can often vary and change over time or with use conditions.

“This is the first time iris recognition technology has been selected for voter registration and its adoption is now spreading widely,” said Mohammed Murad, vice president, global sales and business development for Iris ID. “The Iris ID system provides this country with one of the most sophisticated registration systems in Africa – really in the world.”


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