“We are strengthening the link between the Departments of Civil Status, and the Electoral Office, which will lead to consolidate the biometric voter registration system for voting in any elections in Vanuatu,” Minister for Internal Affairs Alfred Maoh, said when addressing a press conference.
He said the Civil Status Department, though small, is a very important department in the nation, because it registers birth, death and marriage records of every citizen in the nation.
Without Civil Status Department, no one can obtain, for example passports or voting cards as well as driver’s license or other purposes.
“It is a must to have this Department in place because it records every single citizens of Vanuatu during birth, marriage and death.
“So, the link we are strengthening between Civil Status Office and the Electoral Office, will lead to the introduction of biometric voting registration system,” Minister Maoh revealed.
Biometric Voter Registration System (BVRS) is a highly advanced biometric information system that allows enrolling and identifying voters quickly and unmistakably.
Using biometric identifiers, the possibility of election fraud is minimized, at the same time considerably accelerating the voter identification process.
Sovereign nations are increasingly turning to biometric voting systems to help support fair, credible elections absent of fraud and illegal practices to ensure the protection of democratic principles. Establishing election integrity is a cornerstone of modern democracy that promotes trust and honesty in elected governments and promotes confidence and faith in elected leaders.
Minister Maoh said: “Results of recent biometric voting exercise in some countries have taught us that governments expect fast, accurate, and reliable voter registration at the polls under any conditions that help to maintain the integrity and credibility of the electoral process and reduce mistrust and irregularities,” he said.
The Minister said he hopes that the biometric voting registration will be put on trial during one of the provincial elections before applying the system to the national parliamentary elections.