Biometric teething issues in Brazil vote
06 October 2014 15:44 GMT

Brazil is planning for elections to be fully carried out through biometric identification by 2018.

Voters blamed new biometric systems for delays in Brazil’s general elections on Sunday, but officials have rejected the concerns.

Over 21 million of the country’s 141.8 million voters were registered to use fingerprint scanning technology for the vote, which has led to a run-off between incumbent Dilma Vana Rousseff and challenger Aecio Neves da Cunha.

Because the fingerprint identification did not always work, long lines were reported at polling stations in Brasília, the capital, and Niterói, near Rio de Janeiro.

However, Antonio Dias Toffoli, president of the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE), said the delays were to be expected as the system was being tried for the first time in the capital. Other cities used the biometric system in 2012 regional elections.

"Since it's the first time (it's used) in an election in the Federal District, where 100 percent of the population is identified biometrically, there's often difficulty in placing the finger," he said at a press conference.

"It's all part of a learning process, like buying a new car and not knowing where to open the fuel tank," added Toffoli. "It can lead to lines, but we must be patient."

The TSE has said elections will be fully carried out through biometric identification by 2018.

The head of the electoral body also commented on the incidence of voters taking selfies in the polling booth, warning that it was illegal and could lead to fines or even prison. 

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