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TMCNet:  Implementing Biometric-Based Systems - Researchers Challenge Electronic Voting [column]

[June 18, 2014]

Implementing Biometric-Based Systems - Researchers Challenge Electronic Voting [column]

(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) In line with last week's article "Implementing Biometrics based Systems: Electronic Voting Selection Criteria", we continue our focus on electronic voting, known as e-voting, to be held in Namibia. In addition, the Biometric Research Laboratory, BRL, at Namibia Biometric System will answer some of the questions received in last week's article.


Although e-voting machines posses numerous benefits such as: Voter Identification Possibilities: Improved mechanisms for voter identification by using biometric recognition systems such as automated fingerprint identification systems. This significantly reduces voter registration fraud and ensures that the person voting is the person on the voter registrar.

Increased Speed of Voting: E-voting technology may lead to a faster voting process as there are fewer steps. There would be no ballot issued to the voter and no need to fold and place the ballot in the ballot box afterwards.

However, researcher at BRL and worldwide have been keen to get access to e-voting machine and independently assess the merits of the machines. Researchers at BRL would like to highlight some of the latest findings on e-voting machines conducted by researchers from the University of Michigan.

Recently in May 2014, researchers at the University of Michigan said they have developed a technique to hack into the Indian electronic voting machines. University of Michigan researchers were able to change results by sending text messages from a mobile. We refer interested readers to the article http://thevotingnews.com/tag/alex-halderman/ Similarly in 2010, Researchers such as Professor J. Alex Halderman at Michigan University and his colleagues published a conference paper title "Security Analysis of India's Electronic Voting Machines" in the 17th ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS '10). The researcher had concluded that the machines "are vulnerable to serious attacks that can alter election results and violate the secrecy of the ballot." The same paper had outlined that Namibia was one of the countries considering the use of e-voting from India. We refer interested readers to the article http://indiaevm.org/evm_tr2010-jul29.pdf.

Researchers from the BRL continue to highlight the vital need for consultation and the need to understand both the benefits and weaknesses of the e-voting technology as this would result in better implementation and usage of the machines. In addition, Dr. Mohammad A. Dabbah who graduated from Newcastle University and now a senior researcher at BRL and with Toshiba Medical Visualization Systems (Europe) Ltd highlights essential points on biometrics recognition in his book titled "Secure Biometric Face Recognition: A Case Study for Non-Reversible and Cancellable Biometric Transforms".More information on the implementation of biometrics based solutions can be requested from risco. mutelo@namibiabiometricsystems.com.

Dr Risco Mutelo is a Namibian who currently works for the Bank of America stationed in London where he studied Biometrics Engineering at New Castle University in the United Kingdom.

Copyright New Era. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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