It doesn't appear to involve the biometric IDs that were first proposed by NATO, but the Afghanistan government has just announced plans to issue electronic ID cards to everyone in the country -- an undertaking that it hopes will be complete in five years. That admittedly difficult effort got off to an official start today with the signing of a $101.5 million contract with Afghan company Grand Technology Resources, which will apparently be responsible for producing the wallet-sized cards themselves. In addition to the usual identification, those will each contain a chip that stores the individual's drivers license, vehicle registration, signature and voting registration records -- the latter of which is particularly key, as one of the main reasons for the cards existence is to ensure "fairer, more transparent and efficient" elections in the future.

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Afghanistan moves ahead with plans for national electronic ID cards