KHRC Sues IEBC for Abolishing Manual Voter Registers


The 2022 polls are fast approaching, and the IEBC is making all the moves to ensure that the elections will be carried out successfully, and to the satisfaction of all aspirants.

Just the other day, Raila Odinga, who is vying for the presidential seat for the fifth time posed some questions to the IEBC.

One of his concerns was if the IEBC will avail physical voter registers at polling stations.

The IEBC responded that hard copy registers would no longer be there because all voters will be identified using an online register.

The development, however, has not been received positively by a section of Kenyans, and other organizations such as the Kenya Human Rights Commission, KHRC.

To this end, the KHRC is suing IEBC Kenya over the decision not to use a physical/manual register of voters as a complementary system during the elections.

According to the organization, many voters would be ‘effectively locked out of voting should the KIEMs kit fail.’

“Approximately 2.5 million voters had to rely on the physical register in the 2017 General Election after verification of their details failed due to poor quality of the fingerprints, exposure of KIEMs kits to weather elements, and technical failure of some kits,” says the KHRC in a statement.

The IEBC has not responded to the said suit.

Results transmission is also another area that has been discussed widely.

Regarding the transmission of results from areas that are not served by 3G/4G networks, the Commission will issue satellite modems for the exercise.

IEBC says that the modems will be deployed to 1111 centres, but this will depend on whether the Commission will have sufficient budgets to do so.

The IEBC has not picked a carrier that is best suited to results transmission as telcos are still being considered. Our guess, however, is that Safaricom will be picked, or both Safaricom and Airtel, or Safaricom, Telkom, and Airtel depending on location and coverage.

This week, representatives from Safaricom, Airtel, Telkom, and FaibaJTL met with CA’s Director General Ezra Chiloba to discuss smooth connectivity in support of the IEBC results transmission.

It is not clear if all telcos will be used in this exercise.