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NEC kicks off e-voting registration test

The National Election Committee yesterday kicked off the 15-day trial of its new electronic voting registration system at 25 stations throughout the country.

NEC spokesman Hang Puthea said that the registration test plans to enrol about 30,000 people, though those people will have to register again when the completed system goes live in early 2016.

NEC deputy director Kuy Bunroeun said yesterday that the new form of registration will rely more on photographs and fingerprints, to prevent ineligible people from enrolling, reduce multiple registrations of a single voter and make the whole process more transparent.

Lun Chheng Kai, director of the Phnom Penh Municipal Election Commission, said that the test will help demonstrate the benefits of electronic enrolment and work out kinks in the process.

For example, he said, it’s hard for the machines to read thumbprints when potential voters already had ink on their fingers from marking registration receipts.

Prospective voters also complained that there are still too many papers to fill out, making the process time-consuming, especially when all the registrants have to wait in line for a single computer.

“What I worry is that when the real registration comes, we need to arrange the place properly, since some places are too narrow, so we have to think about this as well."

So Maly, 48, who participated in the test, said that computerised registration is more convenient, and makes her more confident as a voter.

“The new system is easier and faster; it looks sophisticated and less complicated,” she said.

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