Fingerprint id prog picks 400 multiple registrants

DOUBLE or multiple registrants have surfaced at random and it is all because of the AFIS.

Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) the program being used by the government’s poll agency in registering voters automatically matches the print traces of a single individual and raises red flags when similar fingerprint match surfaces, explains Atty Ariel Selma of the city Commission on Elections office.

Because of the AFIS, more than 400 voters from Tagbilaran alone have popped red flags when their prints were cross-matched while re-registering elsewhere.

Atty. Selma however was quick to add that the red flags were noted when former Tagbilaran City voters resettled and registered anew in their new precincts of choice.

Most of these red flags were not deliberate as instead of just requesting for transfer of records, they re-registered so the computer program picks them out.

A case he cited was for a Tagbilaranon who was demanded Comelec records in support of his employment abroad.

Having been a registered voter in Tagbilaran and being in Manila at that time, the concerned instead filed for a new registration, not knowing that the computer can pick him out due to his available and valid registration in Tagbilaran, Selma narrated.

Also, some of the 400 cases in Tagbilaran were traced to women who failed to request for change of status after marriage and registered instead as new voters with a different family name.

Names and status, even faces easily change, but the fingerprints stick to truly identify the person, Selma said further elaborating on the peculiarity of the fingerprint as a true identifying mark of a person.

There are signs that people who may be involved in these red-flags are innocent, but in some cases, as this is criminal offense, it may not be too far-fetched when COMELEC would file appropriate suits, Selma added. (rac/PIABohol)

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