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3.5 Million Venezuelan Voters Provide Fingerprints

In Venezuela, approximately 3.5 million fingerprints were gathered from June 22 to July 22 during the National Electoral Council’s special campaign to update and register voter identities ahead of the October 7 presidential elections. The campaign, called “leave your mark” (pon tu huella), aimed to improve the Council’s database of fingerprints, which will be used to activate the electronic voting machines on the day of the elections.

The announcement was made by the president of the National Electoral Council (CNE), Tibisay Lucena, in a press conference in the Venezuelan capital city of Caracas. She said that activity at the more than 1,600 fingerprinting stations operated by the CNE nationwide “exceeded expectations.”

The CNE previously had records of the fingerprints of 19 million voters, though at least 1.8 million were defective, as they had been gathered over 20 years ago by SAIME, the country’s Identification and Migration Administration.

Lucena said the campaign allowed the CNE to improve its records and capture more fingerprints.
The recorded fingerprints must ideally be of good quality so that on the day of voting they may be used to uniquely identify each registered voter using the Integrated Authentication System. The system prevents double voting and voter fraud.

The CNE president emphasized that the campaign was one of many initiatives to prepare for the presidential elections.

On Monday, the CNE began the process of auditing the fingerprints and other data supplied by voters to be used for the Integrated Authentication System.

The audit, which lasts five days, has two phases. First, technicians will check the quality of the fingerprint records and ensure that no duplicates exist and that they correspond with the list of registered voters. Second, they will be validated with the electronic signature of the technicians from various political parties, a security measure designed to prevent unauthorized access to the data.

AVN/ Press Office- Venezuelan Embassy to the U.S. / August 14, 2012

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