Kenya’s Electoral Agency Keen on Using Blockchain to Enhance Transparency

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Kenya’s electoral agency, the Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission wants to kick things up a notch by introducing a relatively new technology for the country’s largely controversial elections.

In a public notice under their ‘Electoral Reform Agenda’, they have set their plans for them to realize their obligation to the Kenyan public. One of their reforms is using blockchain technology, which we have seen being used by cryptocurrencies as a new wave of decentralized systems and IEBC is interested in that.

Under section six written Electoral Legal Reforms, IEBC formed a taskforce to guide them through the legal reform process and blockchain was one of the ‘priority areas’ for reform that was identified by the Commission.

“Adoption of blockchain technology/distributed ledgers to enable presidential candidates securely access results real-time, enhancing transparency and alleviating suspicion/perceptions of opacity,” it said on the notice.

It seems IEBC wants to use blockchain for transparency purposes, which was one and always the major cause of concern for any elections. Thanks to the two general elections done last year and the subsequent results, there has been a greater call for transparency and IEBC is seeking to use blockchain to remedy that.

It is still not clear how they would implement this technology, whether it is for the upcoming by-elections or for the main general election slated for 2022.

Blockchain technology being used in elections is not a new thing, since it promises to solve some of the critical issues that plague current voting systems.

We have seen reports of how Sierra Leone was the first country to run a blockchain-based election and it has signalled the new era of voting. Apparently for Sierra Leone, this new way of conducting elections that allows people to review, count and validate votes as well as reduce voting costs (cutting out paper ballots) and reducing corruption in the voting process.

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