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Observers endorse mini polls but raise concerns

By Rawlings Otieno | March 17th 2016

Election observers have endorsed the Malindi and Kericho by-elections but raised several concerns.

The Election Observers Group (ELOG) questioned the use of opaque ballot boxes in the Kericho senatorial by-election last week.

The group also said there was lack of clarity on what constitutes a principal voter register. They cited cases where voters' names were missing on the manual register at polling stations yet their details were on the Electronic Voter Identification Device (EVID).

In Kapkatet polling station, ELOG observed that 22 voters verified by EVID did not appear on the manual register.

Institute of Education in Democracy (IED) Executive Director and ELOG Steering Committee Chairman Brian Weke said in the Kapkatet case, those whose names did not appear in the EVID but were in the manual register were not permitted to vote.

According to ELOG, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should periodically update the voters' register in accordance with Section 8 of the Elections Act.

Mr Weke, while releasing the ELOG report, advised IEBC to use EVID to generate and disseminate disaggregated data in every polling station including the number of voters, time of voting and average age of voters, among other features.

In addition, Weke stated that the Issack Hassan-led electoral agency should ensure that the results' transmission system and its back-up system run simultaneously to avoid the kind of hitches witnessed in the Kericho and Malindi mini polls.

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