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IEC Confirms Biometric Devices Malfunction as Polls Date Nears

IEC Confirms Reports of Biometric Devices Malfunction

KABUL – The Independent Election Commission of Afghanistan (IEC) on Tuesday confirmed reports about a malfunction in biometric devices which will be used in the presidential election scheduled for September 28.
The use of biometric devices has been mentioned in the election law in order to ensure a transparent and fair election.
Election observers said the devices purchased from Germany are “not working” properly.
The IEC plans to install the software to 39,544 devices which will be used in the elections across the country, members of the commission said.
TOLOnews reporter Anisa Shaheed who used the biometric devices said the devices record fingerprints and photo of voters but cannot identify repeated fingerprints.
Shaheed said that the devices can only detect repeated stamp on voters’ identity cards.
“There are shortcomings and problems while we are in the process of testing it and these issues will be removed,” an IEC official Zabiullah Barikzai said.
“Specialists from Dermalog company have arrived here [in Kabul] and we are working on the devices over the past ten days. We hope to get new versions soon,” said Esmatullah Mal, deputy head of the IEC.
The IEC last year purchased almost 18,000 biometric devices for parliamentary elections from a German company, Dermalog.
“The commission has the responsibility to lead the process appropriately, particularly when it comes to the issue of biometric devices, otherwise, we will witness a fraudulent election,” a spokesman for Junbishi-e-Milli party Ehsan Nairo said.
(Sahar News)

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