The election roadmap is facing a stumbling block due to a court issue over the software required to ensure legitimacy during the voting process.
Laxton Group Ltd won the tender to supply the BVR kits that have been used during the voter registration process. Laxton Group argue that ZECs decision to award the de-duplication tender to IPSIDY could compromise the fairness of elections and they feel they are in the best position to provide the de-duplication service since they handled the registration that comes before de-duplication.
We don’t know why ZEC decided to award different companies the respective tenders. Laxton supplied the kits that were used for registration. The next important step has been taken away from Laxton and awarded to a different company Ipsidy. Laxton says this may compromise the new voters’ roll.
Both ZEC and Ipsidy have refuted Laxton’s appeal but the pending court case delays the election roadmap and if one the concerned parties appeal the judgment we could be in for an even longer wait before this vital issue is resolved.
Once the registration using BVR has ended there is supposed to be a de-duplication process which ensures that there are no double-voters who have registered in multiple places. This process is done electronically and will see biographical details(name, DOB, ID number and place of residence) get verified along with the biometrical details(fingerprint & photo).
The de-duplication process requires special AFIS (Automated Fingerprint Identification Systems) software. This software matches fingerprints of all the registered voters to make sure they do not appear under different identities/names.
Even if the outcome is not contested the delays of this initial court case will cause a bump since ZEC will need about 4 weeks to link the existing BVR data to the de-duplicating software and run the process.
The de-duplicating process itself will then be drawn out as each and every registration is compared against every other – making trillions of comparisons.
Another problem is the fact a court date hasn’t even been set so it’s hard to gauge just how long this will take. With the closest possible election date being only 5 months away it isn’t really clear how or if this issue can be resolved in a timely manner.
Until this process is complete ZEC will not be in a position to produce a credible voters roll and without a credible voters roll the elections will not be credible… I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
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