Government Technology

E-Vote: Bangladesh Biometric Voter Identification Project Nearing Completion



June 30, 2008 By

A biometric-based credentialing solution for the Bangladesh Voter Registration Project is scheduled to conclude at the end of this month. This exclusive contract was implemented in 2007, in order to prepare voter lists and issue national ID cards, in preparation for Bangladesh's general elections to be held in December of 2008.

To date, the solution has successfully registered and issued national ID cards for more than 75 million people and was the basis for the creation of local voter lists for the upcoming election. The registration process takes no more than six minutes and incorporates scheduled appointment times to enroll each citizen's biometric information. The enrollment data includes four fingerprints, captured with BIO-key's fingerprint ID software and FBI-certified fingerprint readers. BIO-key's WEB-key development platform was utilized to detect duplicate registrations. Additionally, the solution employed 500 ID management servers developed by Tiger IT and over 8,000 laptop computers equipped with Tiger IT enrollment software. The biometric enrollment process has generated more than 300 million ISO fingerprint templates, making it the largest biometric deployment ever recorded, according to BIO-key.

"Tiger IT, BIO-key and Cognitec, in fulfilling their technical promises, have demonstrated they can ensure high quality enrollment data by deploying a powerful identity management solution that delivers accurate, high-speed alias detection on a large scale," commented Major General Shafiq, military secretary of the Bangladesh Army, which is co-managing the project with the Bangladesh Elections Commission.

A survey of the registration process, funded by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), was conducted earlier this year. "It is going to be a list of quality no less than that of America (USA) or England (UK)," concluded Dr. Mohammed Yusuf, one of the consultants for the survey.

Beyond establishing more accurate voter lists to help ensure a full and fair election, the ability to verify one's identity provides significant benefits in the course of each citizen's daily life. For example, the National ID card is used by citizens to access up to 22 different services managed or offered by the government. The National ID card also includes a standard barcode encoded with ISO fingerprint templates and PKI digital hash that can be used to quickly verify the identity of the cardholder while ensuring the integrity and authenticity of the ID card.


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