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Thursday, August 17, 2017

How can a quarter of polling stations not be networked?

safaricom house. Photo/Monicah Mwangi
safaricom house. Photo/Monicah Mwangi

The IEBC now says that 11,155 out of 40,883 polling stations lack network coverage.

More than a quarter of all polling stations being non-networked is a statistic that should have been made clear – and acted upon – earlier, and certainly at the dry run testing of the Kenya Integrated Election Management Systems on Wednesday.

In a tweet on their official handle, the IEBC said returning officers in these areas will move to areas with Internet hotspots to relay results by satellite phones.

Among other things, this means that 27.5 per cent of polling stations will not transmit results in real-time. In some far-flung areas, looking for a better signal can entail 150km of travel.

What do Safaricom and the other telcos have to say about this stunning statistic?

The IEBC says these areas are out of 3G or 4G GSM network coverage.

Does this mean that no Mpesa transactions are ever made in these areas?

Most of the polling stations are schools and most schools now have access to electricity.

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