August 9

IEBC promises smooth process du**ng elections

Friday, August 5th, 2022 07:00 | By
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati speaks during the 2022 General-Election Observer briefing yesterday at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. PD/John ochieng
IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati speaks during the 2022 General-Election Observer briefing yesterday at the Bomas of Kenya, Nairobi. PD/John ochieng

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC)yesterday assured the country that its Results Transmission System (RTS) would work at its optimal level during Tuesday’s polling.

IEBC said that it has an Election Results Management Framework (ERMF) that provides the workflow of results from the polling station to the constituency and national tallying centre results in accordance with the elections act and regulation.

“The RTS does not capture nor transmit any personally identifiable data and the Commission protects the voters' data in accordance with the Data Protection Act, 2019,” said Commissioner Justus Nyang’aya during their daily briefing.

Commissioner Nyang’aya explained that the ERMF focuses on how result forms are transmitted from the polling station and the results are aggregated at the Constituency, adding that the National Returning Officer will have to countercheck the results of Form 34A if they match with Form 34B.

Voter identification

He explained that the RTS system has a Returning Officer module that is used to generate forms B and C, adding that depending on their role, a Returning Officer can monitor polling stations transmission at Constituency Tallying Centre and verify each Form 34A transmitted image against the physical form 34A.

In order to boost confidence in the electoral process, the Commission avers that each KIEMS tablet will be assigned to a unique polling station and every Presiding Officer given a unique password to open the RTS system.

“The system shall only allow the Presiding Officer to open the RTS application after the close of voter identification (Polling),” he said. In addition, the Returning Officer will also have the duty to confirm that all Forms 34A for respective constituency have been received and verified, per each elective position, so as to preview and generate form 34B that will then be signed and uploaded to the public portal, per each elective position.

The electoral agency is categorical that Form 34A for the Presidential elections cannot be amended once the form image has been captured by the Kenya Integrated Elections Management System (KIEMS).

According to Nyang’aya, in case any of the Forms could not be transmitted due to network connectivity challenges, the status on the KIEMS kits shall appear as “pending”.

“When the device manages to re-establish connectivity, the Presiding Officer shall click on “Transmit All” button and all the forms will be transmitted. No Form can be manipulated once it has been captured by KIEMS kit,” Nyang’aya assured.

Complimentary mechanisms

He pointed out that the use of Electronic Voter Verification (EVV) and Electronic Voter Identification (EVI) Systems have improved the voter identification process as it ensures that only those voters whose Biometric and alphanumeric details have been captured in the voter register are allowed to vote.

“The system ensures that a voter is allowed to vote only once on polling day as EVI curbs impersonation and ensures that only those who registered to vote at a particular polling station are allowed to vote,” he said.

Nyang’aya said that the Presiding Officer (PO) shall be able to capture and transmit the image of the results from (34A series) and that KIEMS kit will display a checklist for the PO to confirm that the results form (34A series) has been duly filled.

Once the election process is completed, the PO confirms if the Forms have an official stamp, and his/ her signature. the forms should also be signed by the Deputy PO and agents in presence of the PO before transmitting the form 34A for the presidential election.

Section 44 introduced the use of technology that encompasses biometric voter registration, electronic voter identification and electronic transmission of results and further, a complementary mechanism for identification of voters.

The commission maintained that the voter is at first instance identified biometrically at the polling station and in the event the voter cannot be identified using their fingerprint due to missing fingers or the biometrics, the presiding officer shall authorise the use of a complimentary mechanism that requires an alphanumeric search.

Upon retrieval of the voter details from the KIEMS kit, the Presiding officer shall authorise the verification of the voter using the Presiding officer's authorisation password.

“Where the KIEMS kit malfunctions during identification or results in transmission, the Presiding officers are required to notify the returning officers of the incidence and request for a replacement KIT which is to be documented in the polling station diary as a quality control measure.”

According to the commission, it is only in the event of a total failure of technology as prescribed in Regulation 26 that the Commission would be required to suspend or terminate the use of technology and notify the public and stakeholders of the suspension and of the measures put in place.

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