, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 11 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is considering introducing an online voting system for Kenyans living in the Diaspora.
Through his Twitter account, Commission Chairman Wafula Chebukati stated that the system will enable the electoral body cut costs incurred during elections.
He however emphasized the need for such a system to be secure and verifiable to avoid being compromised and manipulated. “IEBC is considering online voting for Diaspora to cut costs – but must be secure and verifiable.”
Chebukati further said the Commission will engage various stakeholders including Parliament, before rolling out the system.
A survey of Kenyans living in the Diaspora early this year revealed that most would like to vote by electronic means if given the chance to participate in elections.
According to the survey conducted by the Kenya Diaspora Alliance, as many as eight in every 10 people polled want to cast their ballots over the iIternet, in what could challenge Kenya’s future laws on voting.
Currently, voting is manual and Kenyan voters are required to cast their ballots in person.
The study conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina (US) between March 25, 2016 and December 5, 2016, shows that there is a strong interest by the Diaspora in Kenyan politics mainly because they want to take part in electing their leaders as well as fulfilling their democratic duties.
Beth Elise Whitaker who led the research, conducted the study over the Internet with links being shared in 67 countries across the world, where significant populations of Kenyans live, through online advertisements and the Kenya Diaspora Portal of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
A third of the 777 respondents came from the United States, which is also the country with the largest estimated population of the Kenyan Diaspora.