NAIROBI, Kenya, May 29 – In its final report, the European Union Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to Kenya has called on the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to consolidate the voter register.
During the release of the report on Wednesday, the Chief Observer Alojz Peterle said the different lists slowed the voting process down and caused confusion over the total number of registered voters.
“The use of the voter register on election day did not enable consistently reliable records of registered citizens, nor of how many had voted,” the report reads.
The report continues to detail that there ended up being four different lists of registered voters: “the register in poll books, the lists printed for individual polling stations, the list of people whose biometric data had not been captured and the entries listed in the green books – the manual records of entries made during voter registration.”
The different lists, the report explains, are partly to blame for the long queues that characterised the March 4 General Election and were one of the sticking points in the presidential election.
“In conjunction with inconsistent procedures for verifying registration on polling day, the separate list of voters contributed to some of the discrepancies that were later identified in the results.”
The report goes on to explain that the four different lists of registered voters beat the purpose of bio-metric voter registration which was intended to assure that only legitimate votes were cast.
“Just two days before polling, the IEBC published lists detailing 36,236 registrations for which biometric data was not available.”
“Only after the announcement of election results did it emerge that these were not included in the overall figure of entries published earlier, or in the figures cited in the election results,” the report continues to say.
Despite the challenges occasioned by the multiple lists of registered voters, the report states that the integrity of the voting process remained intact.
“EU observers found that the IEBC and its staff succeeded in overcoming the technical and operational difficulties that arose on Election Day.”
Peterle explained that the mission’s findings and recommendations were made known to IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan who concurred with the report’s observation that the election was carried out under very tight timelines making it difficult for the commission to meet the high expectations Kenyans had.