By Mutinda Mwanzia
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said it will embrace Electronic Voting Systems in the forthcoming General Elections to avoid a repeat of ballot stuffing and other malpractices experienced in the 2007 polls.
IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan said elections needed a credible management system adding many African countries were now embracing electronic voting. Mr Joseph Kinyua (left), PS Ministry of Finance and IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan during the official signing of a project document for support to electoral reforms and processes in Kenya at Treasury building, Nairobi, Friday. Photo: Jonah Onyango/Standard
Mr Joseph Kinyua (left), PS Ministry of Finance and IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan during the official signing of a project document for support to electoral reforms and processes in Kenya at Treasury building, Nairobi, Friday. Photo: Jonah Onyango/Standard
"Many countries are now seeing the value in embracing technology in managing elections," said Hassan.
He said that the electronic system was more transparent and made it easy to monitor election malpractices.
Hassan was speaking at the Treasury where the IEBC signed a project document to support electoral reforms and processes funded by donors to the tune of Sh11 billion.
He said the commission would in a fortnight advertise the tender for the electronic voting systems, which will be sourced from the most competent bidder.
Hassan said the commission and its predecessor had tested an electronic voter registration system in several constituencies adding the system captures a voter's information electronically and uses this to create digital registers.
He said the commission introduced the now popular Electronic Voter Registration (EVR) and Electronic Vote Transmission (EVT) systems, both which have successfully been used in the referendum and a number of by-lections with results being announced in a matter of hours.
"That’s why we are pushing for the electoral body to embrace technology in registration of voters, transmission and display of results," said Hassan.
He said the benefits of Electronic voting which is an evolving technology are clear adding that it reduces cases of double listing and fraud.
Finance PS Joseph Kinyua, IEBC acting CEO James Oswago, IEBC Vice –Chair and UNDP resident representative Aeneas Chuma were also present.
Kinyua said that the government was committed to ensuring that the elections are free and fair.
He said that political stability was critical in any country’s development agenda adding that instability scared away investors.
"The 2007-08 crisis was a wake up call for the country to get it right this time round,"
Kinyua said IEBC needed more resources to ensure that the required reforms in the electoral process are achieved.
He said funds allocated to the government by various donors for use by line agencies must be utilised in a transparent manner.