Ministry workers tally votes from the Beirut municipality vote at the Biel complex in Beirut, Monday, May 9, 2016. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Cabinet's decision Sunday to require voters to present a still-to-be issued biometric ID card to cast their ballot at the next elections raised concerns over the plan's feasibility and aim, election and technology experts have warned.The next parliamentary election is slated for spring 2018 or before.The proposal, put forward by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and approved Sunday following a 3-1/2-hour Cabinet meeting, seeks to transform current national identification cards into biometric IDs that can be used to cast ballots during elections. According to Free Patriotic Movement MP Alain Aoun, who is close to the president, the biometric system will boost electoral participation. The Lebanese diaspora will also be provided with biometric IDs and will be able to vote in future elections at polling stations created by the Foreign Ministry according to the number of voters in cities where the diaspora is located, the MP said.A 2008 law already envisaged the use of biometric passports and IDs in elections. However, until recently, talks centered on the possibility of introducing magnetic cards that – unlike the biometric IDs – would be election-specific and not replace the official identification document used every day.
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