Uganda: Improving voter authentication reduces identity fraud risk

The Electoral Commission of Uganda (ECU) has relied on Smartmatic to modernize its election processes in the last two election cycles, 2016 and 2021. On both occasions, Smartmatic supplied and configured biometric voter verification solutions to manage polling stations more efficiently and reduce the risk of identity-related fraud.

From the capital of Kampala to remote rural communities, our devices have helped validate the identity of more than 18 million voters. Both election cycles comprised four rounds of voting each.


Biometric Voter Verification Kit (BVVK)

The Smartmatic VIU-500 is an all-in-one handheld device for ID management and polling station operation that served as the primary piece of the Biometric Voter Verification Kit (BVVK) for the Ugandan elections.

The rugged-yet-portable standalone device integrates a fingerprint scanner, camera, barcode reader, and GSM connectivity. An internal battery allows for 18 hours of nonstop operation.

The BVVK allowed poll workers to quickly validate the identity of voters against prints stored in the database.

Central System – Smartmatic Identity Management System (IDMS)

Smartmatic’s IDMS, which was synched with Uganda’s national ID database, served as a central system for storing and managing the biographic and biometric information of all registered voters.

The system converted data into a format that the BVVK could read to authenticate voters with maximum accuracy and speed. Moreover, it allowed authorities to perform quality control and integrity checks.

The system also generated custom reports that included voter turnout and other polling and status data. Furthermore, Smartmatic also ran a biometric deduplication process to eliminate any redundant records and validate the integrity of the voter database.

Management and Control Platform

Using two of its proprietary software solutions— SmartDashboard and Smart Helpdesk System— Smartmatic helped manage all logistical operations in real time. These platforms enabled technical support services and troubleshooting in the field. Enhanced monitoring and tracking capabilities allowed for efficient field operations.


To guarantee successful deployments, Smartmatic has provided the following services to the Electoral Commission of Uganda:

  • Configuration and testing of hardware, peripherals, software and data
  • Data deduplication using ABIS
  • Equipment warehousing, maintenance and dispatch
  • Project management
  • Training of headquarters staff and field operators
  • Technical support and troubleshooting services in the field during elections
  • Distribution and retrieval of the equipment