The National Super Alliance (NASA) has finally been granted read-only access to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission’s (IEBC) servers in a request that was tabled to the Supreme Court of Kenya (SCOK) by the opposition coalition. The request, which was filed on August 25, derives its motivation from claims of forgery for over 11,000 Forms 34As that do not correlate to data submitted in IEBC’s public portal. It is said that these forms compromised more than 7 million votes, in addition to fear that they were fraudulently obtained due to their lack IEBC’s symbols as required by law.
It should be noted that NASA’s access to IEBC materials, which includes servers used in the polls, Kenya Integrated Election Management Systems (KIEMS) data, firewalls as well as their associated passwords, among others, is restricted. This is to say that NASA will not have unfettered access to these materials because the process will be supervised by the Registrar of the Supreme Court Esther Nyaiyaki. At the same time, only the servers that were used during the August 8 polls will be examined. How they will separate servers used during the general elections from those that have nothing to do with the investigation is still unknown.
According to NASA’s petition, their interest in KIEMS kits involves scrutiny of several materials, including static IP addresses of each KIEMS Kit used during the Presidential Elections, their specific GPRS location data between August 5 and August 11, in addition to a record of procured Kits used and those that were used during the polls. NASA had also asked for the list of technical partners for the IEBC Election Technology System, the kind of access they had and a list of APIs for exchange of data with these partners.
Access to IEBC materials should help NASA audit the original forms 34A and B in a bid to cement their petition. On the other hand, the read-only access has only been granted to NASA and justification is based on time constraints and security concerns.
The electoral body has since admitted data transmitted on its public portal was provisional and to some extent, inaccurate. Thus, it will be interesting to see if NASA will confirm its fear that the transmission of the Presidential Election results did not go in line with law.
It is also possible that this new development will determine whether the procedure used in transmitting the Presidential Election results was erred, although Jubilee has insisted that it is impossible to compromise outcome was based on a paper ballot and paper-based audit trail.
Lastly, correlating forms 34A and 34B of the 40,833 polling stations to those keyed in the primary database should shed more light into the matter.