Wednesday, 2 August 2017

IEBC gives six reasons why ballot stuffing is impossible

There are concerns that extra or foreign ballot papers will make their way to the ballot boxes or be used in other polling stations.
There are six reasons why such a scenario would not happen: First, unlike 2013, the ballot papers and result forms have been customised per polling station such that it is not possible to use ballot material not meant for the polling station.
Second, at the opening of the polling station, the presiding officers will show party agents the number of ballot papers issued and record them in the polling day diary, complete with the unique serial numbers.
At the end of polling, the presiding officer will record the number of unused ballot papers and provide the same to the agents.
Third, at three-hour intervals throughout polling day, the presiding officers will report to the returning officer the number of ballots issued and IEBC will track this against the voter turn-out at that particular time.
Any inconsistencies will be detected immediately and action taken against the presiding officers, in case of electoral offences.
Fourth, the KIEMS gadgets cannot allow presiding officers to transmit more results than the number of registered voters in a polling station.
This ensures that there is no ballot stuffing at any point and that any politician attempting to manipulate the system only stands to fail.
Fifth, the regulations are clear that the commission will annul results from any polling station that has more than the number of registered voters. This means that even in the worst case scenario of the failure of KIEMS, ballot stuffing is mitigated against.
Lastly, the agents of each party or candidate have a responsibility to ensure that these actions do not take place.
As Kenyans call on the commission to ensure free and fair elections, it is important that we hold accountable agents and observers in each polling station and urge them to carry out their part of responsibility with utmost professionalism.
Dr Roselyn Akombe Kwamboka is an IEBC Commissioner.

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