Mike and Diane Morrell from Australia have created Genie ID, a new voting system that has shown potential in transforming voting in Africa with the reduction of electoral fraud.
Genie ID is a voting system that is able to create a photo ID with the images, fingerprints and signatures being sent back to a central place for verification. This is done using 3G wireless networks. The whole process may sound lengthy but only takes about two minutes to complete.
The couple is very passionate about free and fair elections after they witnessed the apartheid system in South Africa, where they were living, until Nelson Mandela eventually came into power. They realized the need for a secure voting system that would not be easily manipulated and established Jazzmatrix Corporation, the Australia-based company that is responsible for this gadget.
Voting fraud has been very rampant in Africa, with incidences of individuals voting more than once and others taking on the identities of deceased voters whose details are still on the electoral list. An example of fraudulent elections would be the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, who was last year reelected for his seventh term as president and fraud accusations still loom.
Where any kind of fraud is detected by the system, it automatically begins arbitration using a feature known as Rollcall. The suspected fraudulent account is cross-checked by two people who go through the given data so as to conclude whether a fraud has indeed occurred.
Powering the units is done using mains electricity and where it is not possible a small solar panel is provided. The availability of electricity is another problem faced in Africa and the solar panel comes in handy in those areas where electricity supply is erratic or nonexistent. This is also better than relying on a laptop for power because the laptop’s battery may run out with no external source for recharging it.
The materials used to make this system are heavy-duty meaning they can easily survive severely difficult environmental conditions. This will also have them lasting longer thus reducing maintenance costs in the long run.The systems were made in Shenzhen, China.
Negotiations are already underway for supply of the product and Malawi is considering an order of 2,700 units while Tanzania is looking to order 15,000 units.This points to an existing thriving market for this product and a great business opportunity for entrepreneurs that deal with voter registration systems.
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