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ELECTION PROBLEMS

Fix IEBC transmission problems before 2022

In Summary

• In 2017 over 10,000 Form 34As were invalid because they could not be transmitted from polling stations

• The IEBC is yet to tackle the 2017 technical problems because funding is concentrated in election years

SCRUTINY: An agent follows the manual tallying process of the presidential vote at the National Tallying Centre in Bomas, Nairobi, on March 4, 2013
SCRUTINY: An agent follows the manual tallying process of the presidential vote at the National Tallying Centre in Bomas, Nairobi, on March 4, 2013
Image: FILE

In August 2017, President Uhuru Kenyatta got 54 percent of the vote while challenger Raila Odinga received 45 percent (see P6).

However the Supreme Court ordered a rerun which took place in October and which Kenyatta won after Raila stopped campaigning.

The fundamental problems of the August election were technical. In many polling stations, election officers could not transmit the results electronically using the KIEMS tablets because they did not have access to 3G. They moved away to get reception but by then the message was no longer geo-tagged to the polling station. As a result, over 10,000 Form 34As were 'missing'.

 

There were also issues with the firewall and access to the main Morpho server.

Alarmingly these issues have not yet been resolved. The IEBC estimates that, because of population growth, as many as 15,000 polling stations may be out of range in 2022. The KIEMS tablets are not being maintained for lack of funds.

Kenya needs to move away from fully funding the IEBC only in election years. Supporting the electoral system should be a continuous process. The technical problems of 2017 must be ironed out before 2022.

Quote of the day: "You can't inspire people if you are going to be uninspiring."

Robert Reich
The American Secretary of Labor was born on June 24, 1946