NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 4 – A polling clerk with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has been arrested in Kitui Central for allegedly issuing excess ballot papers to a voter on Monday.
IEBC CEO James Oswago said the matter was being investigated because it was an offence to issue more than one ballot paper per elective post to voters.
He added that there were also issues in Kitutu Chache where voters complained of being issued with ballot papers that had not been stamped by the IEBC.
“The commission has ordered for the arrest of one polling clerk in Kitui Central for issuing more than one ballot paper to a voter,” he said.
Oswago further revealed that ballot boxes that were being transported to five polling stations in Kitui East constituency were damaged.
“IEBC officers are making efforts to have them replaced since the law permits the commission to use back up boxes,” Oswago said late on Monday.
He also said that polling stations that opened late would also close past the 5pm deadline to compensate for the time lost in the delays.
Oswago noted that there were some polling stations in Laisamis constituency that had not opened by as late as 9am while some in Samburu North Constituency opened at 8am.
Oswago however explained that those that opened at 6am would have to close at 5pm so that counting of the votes commences.
“There was a problem with transportation of ballot materials to Sadik polling station in Wajir South Constituency but that was sorted out and voting kicked off at 10am,” he explained.
Oswago further noted that ballot papers for the position of women representative in Kitale Girls polling station were not enough.
He however added that the Presiding Officer had contacted the regional warehouse to request for additional ballot papers.
Oswago, who was flanked by members of the secretariat, also said that the most common complaint from voters had to do with names missing from poll books.
“Complaints of missing names have been reported in Embakasi West, Embakasi North, Mandera North, Nambale, Kinangop and Likoni,” he observed.
He further asked party agents and representatives to closely observe the counting process and the transmission of the results.
The electronic transmission of results will begin immediately votes in the polling centres are counted.
“But there must be order at the tallying centres countrywide because in many places voting is still continuing and a large number of people are still in the queues,” he noted.
He also observed that the long queues witnessed in the voting exercise had led to disorder in some polling stations where pushing and shoving were witnessed.
Oswago assured Kenyans that everyone who made it to the queue on time would be allowed to cast their vote.
The commission also mourned the death of six police officers, who died while trying to enforce order in Mombasa.