Nadra enhances capacity to verify voters’ biometrics
ISLAMABAD: The National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has enhanced its capacity to verify voters’ biometrics by 1,000 per cent as it is now in a position to authenticate thumb impressions of 100,000 voters per day, it is learnt.
Official sources told DAWN that Nadra was previously able to verify only 100 fingerprints per day and the facility was usually used to help law-enforcement agencies in tracking down criminals.
The capacity has been enhanced to carry out fingerprint authentication through an automated fingerprint identification system to assist election tribunals established by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hear poll petitions and to deal with the expected workload.
The increase in daily throughput has been achieved through internal software development and investment in infrastructure through Nadra’s own resources without any financial assistance from the ECP or the government.
Through fingerprint matching service, Nadra will help the tribunals identify number of votes cast by a person and those polled by someone else instead of eligible voters themselves, and identify individuals who have indulged in fraudulent exercise of impersonation.
Keeping the sensitivity of evidence in mind, Nadra has evolved a chain of custody methodology to handle voters’ lists for general elections 2013. Meanwhile, the authority is preparing a code of conduct which will be issued after approval by the tribunals. It is a guideline for Nadra employees working on the project, public representatives and reporters aimed at ensuring impartiality during the process of verification.
Nadra will start fingerprint matching after receiving directives from the tribunals and gaining access to electoral rolls.