SECTIONS

Let poll agency leave no room for suspicion

Transparency is key to the conduct of elections. [File, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) seeks to verify 1.019 million transfer requests. This comes after some voters complained they had been moved from their original polling stations without their consent.

If indeed such transfers were effected, they stand to disenfranchise a sizeable number of voters. The law gives every eligible voter the right to vote for candidates of his or her choice from a polling station that offers them convenience.

Thus, requests for transfers are perfectly in order, but the verification must be done in a manner that does not cause suspicion. IEBC should establish why the voters were unlawfully moved and take necessary action against those found culpable.

Transparency is key to the conduct of elections, right from the time of registration, voter register verification to the actual voting. Elections can only be seen as fair when everything is seen to be done above board.  

Legitimate voter transfers should be effected only on the basis of duly signed forms by the voters requesting such moves. While at it, the matter of dead voters on the register should be addressed as well.

In 2017, a report by Audit firm KPMG revealed the existence of dead voters on the voter register. As a result, IEBC expunged 88602 names from the register. Similar action should be taken to clean the register in readiness for the August 9, elections.

Doubt, however small, has the capacity to spark off chaos, especially when leading contenders plant seeds of discontent in their followers by alleging there are plans to rig the August elections.

Deputy President William Ruto and his Kenya Kwanza co-principals are on record claiming the State has plans to rig the August elections, yet they have failed to give evidence of such schemes. Ruto knows better than to allege mischief without proof.

The 2007/2008 flare up was caused by such unsubstantiated claims, and we cannot afford a repeat of the same. While IEBC should conduct its work in a transparent manner, leaders should desist from making wild allegations.