Azimio writes to IEBC seeking voter register, polling station locations
With 41 days left until Kenyans go to the polls to elect President Uhuru Kenyatta’s successor, IEBC continues to streamline the election preparation process.
The commission, in what it says is maintaining an open door policy, is set to hold a consultative meeting with the four presidential candidates; Kenya Kwanza’s William Ruto, Azimio’s Raila Odinga, Waihiga Mwaure of the Agano party and Prof. George Wajackoya of the Roots party.
The agenda of the meeting according to IEBC: the recently audited voter register, the elections transmission process, and the candidates campaign schedules.
IEBC is keen on ensuring the presidential candidates are satisfied with the processes.
Ahead of that meeting, Azimio - through Odinga’s chief legal advisor Paul Mwangi - is demanding answers on issues it says the commission has not addressed and has written a letter on the same.
“There is a very slow response at answering questions that have been asked, we are not getting as much information as we have gotten in previous elections. The Chairman, last time when he held a media briefing, said they had identified people that tried to sabotage the system and he promised that he was going to reveal who they were and what action they had taken, till now those questions have not been answered we do not know where the printing is taking place,” said Mwangi.
Key in Azimio’s fears is IEBC’s acknowledgement of interference with the voter register where illegal transfer of voters in 12 counties was flagged.
Azimio is seeking to know what action had been taken on the 3 IEBC officials found culpable and whether the transfers had been reversed.
Alongside this is IEBC’s insistence on exclusive use of electronic voter identification without a complementary manual voter register.
“Due concerns that arise about this is that in 2013 technology failed entirely, so it is conceivable that technology can fail. In this election we already have the first incident of sabotage, we are told that somebody did manage to enter the system and transfer almost a million voters into different locations…so it is very conceivable that one can sabotage that technology, and the problem is if you sabotage the technology, then on that day it means that some polling stations will simply not operate because they will not have a physical register and any working machines,” stated lawyer Mwangi.
Azimio is asking for a certified copy of the voters' roll to be used in the August polls containing the names and ID numbers of voters in each ward.
The coalition wants a list of all the polling stations, their geo reference and details of the connectivity to either 3G or 4G network.
“We have raised some of these issues even in previous petitions…that we were told that there would be so many polling stations but you end up not knowing where the polling stations are. So it is important that if there is a polling station, it must have a name and a geo location so that you know that it actually physically exists,” added Mwangi.
Azimio seeks answers on the number of KIEMS kits to be used and their serial numbers, the deployment ratio per polling station and their state of functionality.
Lawyer Mwangi says they find it odd that IEBC is yet to allow the players to visit the country and company printing the ballot papers since they sought to find out the design and security features of the papers and other forms used in the election and also the logistical issues on transportation and storage of crucial electoral materials.
“If something is wrong we don’t know if there will be sufficient time to mend it, and that is why it is important to receive all this information now so that if there are things to complain about then they can be complained about earlier, and if there are issues that need to be rectified then there is time enough to rectify,” he stated.
Azimio hopes the Wednesday meeting will address the issues raised and boost their confidence in the commission to carry out a free, fair and credible election.
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