The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) yesterday received the first batch of ballot papers for senator, governor and woman representative.
At the same time, electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati defended the printing of ballot papers before gazetting all candidates, saying that they had submitted the list of candidates to the Government Printer on June 30, but could not be published due to paper overload.
“We submitted over 16,100 names of candidates of the 21,000. The Government Printer has been having challenges finalising the Gazette Notice printing because it’s bulky but we hope it (printer) will finalise printing the Gazette Notice by end of today (Thursday),” said Mr Chebukati.
IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein Marjan said the ballot papers total contract cost is 24 million euros (Sh3.2 billion) and gave a breakdown of the cost of printing a single ballot as Sh23 including Value Added Tax (VAT).
He, however, expressed fears that if the delays continue since they are running out of time, the cost may go up.
Mr Marjan said IEBC will print 200 million ballot papers, which is the exact number it had earlier indicated and denied chances of voters missing papers in case they get finished. “The turn up of voters has never been 100 per cent, we normally get 80 per cent and below and therefore we expect to have surplus ballot papers,” he said.
The batch that arrived yesterday contained Senate ballot papers for Nairobi, (Dagoreti North and South), Wajir (Wajir East and West), Kwale (Lunga Lunga), Taita Taveta (Voi and Taveta) Trans Nzoia (Entebes, Cherenganyi and Kiminini), Embu (Runyenjes and Mbeere), Kitui (Mwingi North, Kitui South, East and Central).
Speaking after receiving the ballot papers at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Mr Chebukati said so far they have received 128 pallets consisting 111 palates for Senate, nine for governor and eight for Woman Representative.
Others are Garissa (Mbalambala) and Mombasa (Jomvu, Likoni, Kisauni, Nyali and Changamwe) and finally Tana River (Garsen).
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“Presidential ballot papers will be received last and we shall invite presidential agents to join in us in the inspection right from arrival of the aircraft up to the loading place,” said Mr Chebukati.
Mr Chebukati said they have organised for presidential aspirants to go to Athens, Greece, where the ballot papers will be printed, between July 15 and July 20. The printing contract was awarded to Inform Lykos.
“We are transparent in this process,” he said.