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SMS code to verify voter details unveiled

By Roselyne Obala | Published Fri, June 30th 2017 at 00:00, Updated June 29th 2017 at 23:16 GMT +3

Registered voters can now verify their registration details through a mobile phone SMS service introduced by the electoral commission yesterday.

A voter is required to send either a national identity card number or passport number used to register to 70,000 to check one's details as captured in the register of voters by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

But the service sparked controversy yesterday after it emerged it was generating responses for random entries like '0' that are not valid.

For instance number zero sent to 70,000 showed it belonged to Stanley Gitari Mucira, a voter in Kirinyaga County, Gichugu constituency at Rwambiti polling station.

Same applied to 134, which displayed the detail of Benard Otieno Ongango, a voter in Nairobi County, Roysmabu Constituency at Vendramini polling station.

The anomaly trended online yesterday as Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) shared screen shots of the questionable responses.

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But contacted, IEBC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ezra Chiloba said "there is no cause for alarm."

After the anomaly was flagged, IEBC said the system had been reviewed to and if invalid entries are entered, it auto generates a message requiring one to visit their nearest IEBC office.

The verification message costs Sh7 and showed the voter's full name, county, constituency, polling Station code, the name of the polling station and ward.

The commission also published the names and emails of constituency election co-ordinators to enable voters to know them before the polling day.

Likewise, the commission has instructed journalists set to cover the elections to start accreditation.