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Kenyan Electoral Authority Upgrades Technology To Avoid Voter Fraud

Kenyans head to the polls on Tuesday as the country relies heavily on technology to verify voter identities and transmit presidential ballot results. After the election, the Electoral College has turned to public attention to try to shake off that image.

Kenya’s Electoral Commission said the general election was ready and election materials had arrived at more than 46,000 polling stations across the country.

Boya Mol, one of the members of the Independent Election Boundary Board (IEBC), said his team was ready to hold the election.

“All our employees are trained. They are properly informed from technology to voter identification to election law….The system is in place. We will be ready to take off at 6 o’clock,” he said.

Officials of the National Youth Service (NYS) gather and take vows before escorting election materials at the Eldort courthouse ahead of Kenya's general elections on Aug. 8, 2022.

Officials of the National Youth Service (NYS) gather and take vows before escorting election materials at the Eldort courthouse ahead of Kenya’s general elections on Aug. 8, 2022.

On Sunday, the commission fired four elections officials for meeting candidates to aid in vote rigging in western Kenya.

The Electoral Commission was heavily criticized for mismanaging the 2017 presidential election. Kenya’s Supreme Court annulled the election, citing failures to uphold the electoral process and constitution in conducting the vote.

Joy Mudivo, a Nairobi-based attorney and political commentator, said the biometric technology kits electoral agencies relied on in 2017 failed from start to finish.

“In the last election, there were massive failures with many kits. Many of them did not display voter details on time. The kit failed,” she said. “Could not get the network to send results.”

Mdivo participated in two IEBC assimilation exercises in June and July to explain how the Integrated Election Control System will differ from the 2017 system.

“Nowadays, voter details are more than just thumbprints,” she said. “Because we use all 10 fingers, Fingerprint captures all of them and also takes facial recognition photos. [and] You can’t get biometrics by inserting your ID number and face. You can see the image captured during registration so you can confirm that this is a voter… but more than that, all… the kit is equipped with a satellite modem, so normally If your provider fails, you can use satellite to transmit. ”

The Electoral Commission said the results announced at polling stations are final.

A police officer attempts to guard a presidential ballot box near the tallying center in Kilgolis, Kenya, August 8, 2022.

A police officer attempts to guard a presidential ballot box near the tallying center in Kilgolis, Kenya, August 8, 2022.

The chair of the committee must review all results before announcing the final results for the president.

Political analyst Martin Andati expects there will be less trouble since President Uhuru Kenyatta is not running for election. There is less chance of interference as the incumbent is not running.

“If you have a president who is a candidate, it jeopardizes security issues. Now you have a president you are not interested in. He is not so nonpartisan, but he is not a direct player. That’s how the whole thing works.The difference is in terms of security guarantees,” says Andati.

In 2017, the Supreme Court found no evidence that the president interfered in the election.

In this election, the two main challengers are Lyra Odinga, 77, who is leading in recent polls, and William Ruto, 55. Ruto is participating in the event for the first time, and Odinga is making his fifth attempt.

Kenyatta, who supports Odinga in the presidential race, has told Kenyans that he will hand over power to whoever they choose.

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