Zambia: Country’s voter register goes over to biometrics

In 2010, UN chose Smartmatic to improve Zambia’s electoral register

The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has been continuously updating and upgrading its cutting-edge voter database, which includes both biometric and biographic data of every voter. This database has been used for Presidential and Parliamentary elections in 2011, 2016 and 2021.

Working with Smartmatic since 2010, Zambian officials have periodically conducted registration drives with portable registration kits to update the voter database. The most recent effort in 2020, collected 10 fingerprints and ICAO-compliant facial photographs from all voters, enabling maximum accuracy and performance in data deduplication using a state-of-the-art ABIS.

Employing industry best practices, ECZ officials scrub the database of duplicates before each election. Having fingerprints and facial biometrics allows for a thorough depuration process that ensures maximum accuracy.

Authenticating voters through biometrics

In 2021, election officials began deploying biometric e-Poll books at polling sites to facilitate identity verification and minimize the incidence of identity-related fraud.


Registration kits

The Smartmatic registration kits contain everything authorities need to capture biographical and biometric information efficiently and safely. Protected by rugged carrying cases, the highly portable units are able to go into remote rural areas to register all eligible citizens. To simplify the entire process for operators, the equipment is “plug-and-play” simple. Each kit includes a power supply, a fingerprint scanner, a camera, a printer, a laptop, and a signature pad.

e-Poll books

In 2021, Zambia deployed 1,000 Smartmatic e-Poll books to authenticate voters using biometrics. The VIU-500 portable, standalone devices integrate fingerprint, camera, barcode technology, and online GSM and Wi-Fi connectivity.


  • Configuration and testing of hardware, peripherals, software and data
  • Data deduplication using ABIS
  • Equipment warehousing, maintenance and dispatch
  • Project management and consulting
  • Training of IT staff, tech support staff, and field operators
  • Technical support in the field during the election