NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 2 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has assured Kenyans that all the materials required for voting on March 4 will be in the polling stations across the country by 6pm on Sunday.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago said most of the voting materials had already been distributed with the remaining crucial supplies to be transported to the various centres starting Sunday at noon.
Giving the update to the media on Saturday, Oswago said enough personnel had been deployed to all centres to avoid hitches during the voting and tally exercises.
“The strategic materials we have in relation to these elections include the ballot papers, ballot boxes and other items like that, which are very sensitive. We have procured all of those strategic materials. And as I speak now, they are being prepared to be moved to the polling stations,” Oswago said.
He said the ballot papers and ballot boxes will be transported separately with tight security.
The results from various polling centres will be sent to the IEBC main tally centre here in Nairobi via mobile phones, with Oswago assuring enough transparency and accuracy.
He added that IEBC has three structured levels of reconciling the provisional results to ensure accuracy before releasing them to the public.
“The phones are already at the polling centres, they are being reconfigured. You are aware they must have good batteries and those batteries have to be charged and fitted. We have given a timeline where before the tally begins, director of operations will get report from all the stations on whether the phones are all working well,” Oswago said.
“I know you may wonder about the poll books. We have distributed the laptops and the hand held devices to all the constituencies and as we speak now, the data that is required to be loaded on the laptops is at the constituencies itself or nearer. In short all the non-strategic materials are all in the constituencies,” the CEO said.
Oswago said the media will have access to the results at the polling centres. At the same time, the results will be sent to the national tallying centre at Bomas of Kenya.
“Once it is transmitted, it comes simultaneously to the national tallying centre, to the county tallying centres and to the constituency centres. So there will be no room for manipulation,” he said.
He indicated that few people will be allowed at the results reconciliations sections at the national tallying centre, including the media.
“We don’t mean that we will want this area to be private where the provisional results will be verified three times. We will not allow more than four cameras in this area, people with no specific responsibilities, not even our staff,” Oswago said.
He said IEBC will keep Kenyans updated on any progress concerning the historic exercise on Monday.