The Republic of Guinea, situated on the Atlantic Ocean just north of Sierra Leone in Western Africa, has struggled for several years from serious problems within their electoral processes. Beginning in 2010, Guinea’s Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) had worked to organize elections based on a biometric registry, but the system never met the expectations established by CENI. Elected officials in Guinea knew that the future of Guinea’s people and economy depended on well-organized, controversy-free elections.
In 2019 officials chose Innovatrics, a global leader in fingerprint algorithms, to replace the provider of the biometric electoral registry. With elections slated for early 2020, Innovatrics was given only six months to develop and install the entire biometric registration system and oversee the collection of all biometric data. There was no room for error. Every deadline was critical, and close cooperation with CENI was vital.
The first step – migrating and cleaning up existing registry data – was completed on time, ensuring there were no duplicate records and that every eligible citizen would get the one vote guaranteed to them by law.
The next crucial step was to set up enrollment stations across the country.
Kojak: Reliable Hardware for an Important Job
CENI tasked Innovatrics with setting up 1,500 enrollment stations across the country. Each would be outfitted with Innovatrics software and 10-print fingerprint scanners. Innovatrics understood the tough conditions these scanners would have to endure – heat, humidity, blazing sunlight – in addition to very high-volume use in remote locations. With all these factors in mind, Innovatrics turned to Integrated Biometrics (IB).
Innovatrics and IB have combined forces numerous times on a variety of successful projects. IB’s biometric fingerprint scanners have consistently proved to be the safest, most accurate biometric devices available. IB sensors enable fast, easy, reliable enrollment and identity verification in every type of environment, simplifying border crossing, improving access to food and healthcare, preventing bank fraud, and securing the right to a digital identity and the right to cast a vote.
Innovatrics chose IB’s FAP 60, FBI-certified Kojak PL for the job. “Slap” scanners like the Kojak PL, working in combination with segmentation software, ensure fingerprints within records are not misplaced or swapped, because they are always scanned in the same order.
Kojak’s design was also a logical fit for the Guinea application. Very small, but incredibly accurate, it has an intuitive, ergonomic design, weighs less than a 725g / 1.6 pounds, and scans four flat prints and single finger rolls in seconds. Unaffected by latent prints, intense natural or artificial light, and producing perfect images from both dry and dirty fingers (no prior washing or moisturizing lotion needed), the Kojak PL is ideal for applications that involve unpredictable conditions in remote locations without compromising speed, accuracy or image quality.
Fast Turnaround to Meet Critical Deadlines
Innovatrics and Integrated Biometrics met the challenge of a very fast turnaround, delivering the required number of scanners in a few weeks and keeping the entire project on track. The system was ready and populated with clean data in less than six months and was subsequently redeployed to produce the necessary electoral documentation. By switching the servers to a different task while continuing to provide biometric functions, no additional hardware was required for the task.
While Guinea’s March 2020 elections were full of challenges, the voting process itself was not one of them. CENI declared the new elections system a complete success, and the elections were proclaimed as “Standard” by international observers from the Economic Community of West African States.
About Integrated Biometrics
Integrated Biometrics, LLC designs and manufactures FBI-certified fingerprint sensors for law enforcement, military operations, homeland security, national identity, election validation, social services, and a wide range of commercial applications. The company’s patented LES (light emitting sensor) technology enables lightweight scanners that outperform traditional prism-based devices in size, power consumption, portability, and reliability. Identity management solutions providers, government agencies, and corporations around the world rely on Integrated Biometrics’ products to identify, enroll, and verify individual identity quickly and accurately, even in remote locations.