Kenya vote tallying set for changes

April 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 19 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) is formulating a system that will allow the real-time release of election results from the national tallying centre.

Chairman Issack Hassan said on Monday that the system would reduce the time between announcement of results at a polling station and when they are registered at the national headquarters.

He said that it would significantly reduce any errors and eliminate incidences of fraud or election malpractice.

“In the country, the GSM network coverage is about 85 percent. There are only small pockets of the country where there is no network,” he pointed out. “So we can actually use our existing infrastructure to be able to have a system of very secure transmission of results so that when a presiding officer announces the results in a polling station, he will be required also to transmit in real-time, to our National Tallying Centre in Nairobi.”
The electoral body also said that no changes would be made once the results are transmitted to the results centre.

“It is a question of using our existing Safaricom, Zain and other service providers to give us network privately and we can achieve our objective.”

Mr Hassan further stated that the number of registered voters have now risen to 5.7 million. He pointed out that the registration process is well on course and expressed optimism that the commission would meet its target.

“As of yesterday (Sunday), we had registered 5.7 million people and we are still on course for the next three weeks,” he observed. “The ordinary voter registration will end on May 5 and the Electronic Voter Registration will be finished in May 21.”

“We are satisfied that we are going to meet our targets.”

He was speaking during a meeting with professional bodies where he emphasised the need for them to take an active interest in the registration process.

Meanwhile Kenyans having the old generation Identification Cards are being urged to make haste and acquire the newer version to enable them participate in the upcoming referendum.

Mr Hassan said that only voters with the new generation ID cards will be allowed to participate in the referendum.

He however said: “The old generation ID cards have been de-gazetted by the Immigration Ministry.  I am making an appeal to the minister to de-gazette the order to enable us to register those that have the old generation ID cards.”

He also called on Kenyans to avoid rushing to register during the last minute.


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