Thursday, 3 August 2017

IEBC tests electronic results transmission from counties

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati (centre) displays a Kiems kit when the gadgets arrived in the county. The commission on Wednesday conducted a dry run programme to demonstrate how results will be transmitted through the kits. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP
The electoral agency Wednesday successfully conducted a simulation of August 8 elections results transmission from the planned 47 county tallying centres.
In the event at the Bomas of Kenya, which will act as the National Tallying centre, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) showed to tens of observers, political party agents, the media and Kenyans watching on live TV how its much-hyped system will work on election day.
The IEBC first made the Bomas a mock tallying centre, where each of the eight presidential candidates received 40 votes each, representing 12.5 per cent of the "valid votes cast."
These results were added to the 10 that had been allocated to each of the candidates to kick start the live projection of the results at Bomas.
Those present were also shown live from the stations, successful  transmission of mock results from Nakuru, Mombasa, and Kisumu county tallying centres.
"On Tuesday, when the 19,611, 423 registered voters go to the polls, results will be coming live from all the 40,883 polling stations at all the 338 tallying centres with no human intervention," IEBC Chief executive Ezra Chiloba said.
He went on: "For the media, that means you can choose to be at Bomas, in your office or anywhere else and still have unfettered access to all the results from all the polling stations."
The Court of Appeal last month ruled that IEBC cannot change results as declared at polling stations.
This means that when presidential election results- which will be counted first- are declared at any of the polling stations in Kenya, Kenyans will have real time access and develop real time tallies of the polls.
The access, he said, also applied to all members of the public.
Notably, the electronic transmission of results kits has been configured to show the "submit" button only after the full entry of the data, and the scanning of the results declaration forms signed by all agents of participating candidates.
"The primary document and what we will use as final result- is the scanned document.
If the results in the scanned document is different from the alpha-numeric, the ones in the scanned document prevails," IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said of the results.
The commission has partnered with Safaricom, Airtel, and Telkom Kenya and zoned the country into three depending on each of the three mobile service provider's strengths to ensure maximum capability of the kits to transmit the results.
The Communication Authority of Kenya has also been enjoined to ensure "quality and secure network " for the IEBC, as well as manage use of satellite technology.
The IEBC has provided satellite technology in all its 338 tallying centres- 290 at constituency level, 47 county and the National one at Bomas.
At the event, the IEBC has a moment of silence for its murdered employee, Chris Msando.
Mr Msando, who was the head of data and infrastructure at IEBC,  was tortured and murdered on Saturday by unknown people.
The dry-run Wednesday was on Monday postponed after the discovery of his body at City Mortuary.
As head of data and infrastructure, Mr Msando headed the results transmission system and was at the centre of the dry-run plans.
"We are ready to give Kenyans a free, fair and credible election," a confident Mr Chebukati said in his opening remarks.
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