IEBC meets Presidential candidates on voter register and poll preparedness

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati (photo credit-IEBC twitter)
IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati (photo credit-IEBC twitter)

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission- IEBC on Wednesday 29th June met all four Presidential candidates for a stakeholders meeting on the voters register and the Commission’s preparedness for the August 9 polls. The meeting was held at Nairobi’s Windsor Golf Hotel and Country Club where thorny issues concerning the polls were discussed.

The entire four candidates, Azimio’s Raila Odinga, Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto, Root party’s George Wajackoya and Agano’s Waihiga Mwaure attended the consultative meeting.

The issues discussed were; election results transmission, manual voter register, harmonizing of campaign schedules, release of audit report by KPMG among other key issues. These issues were raised by the Presidential candidates who had earlier expressed dissatisfaction over the Commission’s preparedness to conduct the polls.

Both Kenya Kwanza and Azimio coalitions had taken issues with the electoral agency over its unilateral decision to favour the biometric voter registration without being complemented by a physical one. They had also questioned how IEBC would transmit results from areas not covered by 3G and 4G networks.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer Hussein Marjan noted that the Commission will conduct voter identification electronically. KIEMS kits will be used at the polling centres to ascertain both the biometric information and the biographic information of the voters. In case the biometric voter identification system fails, voters would be required to produce their identification documents that would be used to confirm their registration details. The manual voter register will be the last resort incase all other means fail.

The decision whether to use manual registers as will be communicated after hearing and determination of the case court that was presented against IEBC.

Marjan also said that the Commission has procured enough backup kits to be used during voter identification process.

He further clarified that form 34A will be used to tabulate the total votes of a polling station while 34B will be used to tabulate total votes cast in a constituency. All forms must be presented physically to the Constituency tallying centres and signed by respective party agents to ratify that the contents are correct. Form 34 at the national tallying centre be used to determine the winner of the Presidential contest. Transmission of the results will also be conducted electronically through the KIEMS kits.

The Commission chairperson Wafula Chebukati said that he will serve as the national tallying officer of the Presidential election and will declare the winner of the contest.

The Commission also clarified that it had no cloud storage for the results. All technology systems are located in Kenya.

Marjan announced that the Commission has given Inform P Lykos Holdings SA the lucrative tender of printing ballot papers set to be used in the August polls. The company has headquarters in Greece with a backup in Romania. They further said that the ballot papers will have enhanced security features.

Deputy President William Ruto said that Kenya Kwanza coalition fully supports the use of the electronic voter register with bare minimum guarantee that the electronic system does not fail.

‘’We support your commitment to the electronic register, we are trying to move our parties to have our nomination like our competitors using the electronic system, ‘’Ruto said.

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati advised the Presidential candidates with further issues to meet with IEBC technical team for further clarification

By Edi Mulindo