The Central Statistics Organization (CSO) which is responsible for the biometric system for the Independent Election Commission said Thursday that the devices are flawed as they can record duplicate votes.
The CSO said as each vote is recorded by the device, a slip will be printed and pasted on to the back of ballot papers.
They said the slips printed for duplicated votes will be marked as such but that this does not necessarily mean these votes won’t be counted.
Each slip will have its own serial number but it will be up to the IEC officials as to whether they discard the duplicate votes or whether they add them to the total.
CSO head Ahmad Jawed Rasuli said the IEC officials will therefore be able to decide on whether to keep only the legitimate ballot paper and slips or whether to keep the duplicates as well.
“If a voter registers on one device twice, then the system will register that he has already voted; if the voter goes to another polling station and registers again, it will also register as a duplication. But only when votes are counted will the IEC pick up that the votes are duplicated,” said Rasuli.
Rasuli said the devices also have two options for taking pictures of voters; it has the option to take photos or to skip that part of the process. He said once again it will be up to officials at the particular polling stations to decide on whether to photograph the voters.
Rasuli said the devices also record two thumb prints, Identity Card pictures and the pictures of the stickers attached to the ID cards of the voters.
“If the commission decides that pictures are mandatory, then it can be mandatory in the devices. And if they decide pictures are optional, for example of women, then the application has the ability to support the decision,” said Rasuli.
IEC officials meanwhile said so far they have not decided on whether to record the pictures of voters.
IEC secretary and spokesman Sayed Hafizullah Hashemi said the commission has decided that slips printed by the biometric devices will be pasted on to the back of all ballot papers.
“We have discussed this. Some said pictures should be mandatory, while some others said it should not be mandatory for women. We have not made any decision in this regard, but we will decide by Saturday,” said Hashemi.
So far the IEC has taken delivery of 16,000 biometric units and are still waiting for the balance of the 24,000 ordered through a German company.