• Another area that we all need to know is the total number of actual voters who turned up for the election from which we can compute the turn up percentage.
• I propose that once the polling closes, and before counting, the turn up data must be sent to the IEBC portal via a new Form 45A.
The IEBC’s strength in conducting elections is that results from polling stations are final.
The challenges lie in the transmission of the results to conform to this principle. The regulations need to change to ensure this principle is upheld at all levels of tallying and results announcement.
One area that need clarification is the idea that there are ‘stray ballots’. I understand a stray ballot is one that the voter puts in the wrong box as a result of a mix-up. The voter places, for example, an MCA ballot in the presidential box instead of that of MCA. It is my opinion such ballots are grouped together with other rejected ballots. This is because they cannot be re-routed to their respective boxes since they are sealed after counting. In effect, Regulation 78 (3) (e) should be inserted to read: stray ballots.
Another area that we all need to know is the total number of actual voters who turned up for the election from which we can compute the turn up percentage. I propose that once the polling closes, and before counting, the turn up data must be sent to the IEBC portal via a new Form 45A.
The contents of Form 45A are: Total registered voters at the polling station plus a place of the actual voters who turned up to vote at the station and be confirmed by all parties present. This figure can be obtained from the Kiems kit. Subsequently, all results for elective positions will be based on Form 45As. This will cure the disease of ‘ballot stuffing’ which we often hear of. In effect Regulation 82 should be re-written as follows:
Turn-up and provisional results to be transmitted electronically
(1) The presiding officer shall, upon closure of polling and before counting, submit to the returning officer in electronic form the turn-up of persons who voted, in such a manner as the Commission may direct
(2) The presiding officer shall, before ferrying the actual results of the election to the returning officer at the tallying venue, submit to the returning officer the results in electronic form, in such a manner as the Commission may direct
(3) The results submitted under sub-regulation (2) above shall be provisional and subject to confirmation after the procedure described in regulation 76
In line with above, I propose that after sending Form 45A (turn-up record) to the IEBC portal, all results at the polling station, namely Form 34A Form 35A, Form 36A, Form 37A, Form 38A and 39A should also be sent to the portal.
This will confirm the notion that all results are based on the finality of results at a polling station, not just for the President, as is the case now. The net result of this is that the aggregates for the five positions including rejected votes at the constituency level, namely Form 34B-President, Form 35B-MP, 36B (all MCAs), 37B-Governor, 38B- Senator and 39B- Woman Representative should be the same.
Equally at the county level, the aggregates for the three elective positions in respect to Form 37C, 38C and 39C should be equal. The aggregates for Presidential tally including rejected votes in Form 34C is equal to the sum of all Form 45Bs from all the constituencies, which is just an arithmetic procedure.
John Ngimor is an educationist