27 February 2013

Kenya: Distribution of Ballots Starts Thursday

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said it will start distributing ballot papers to be used during Monday's General Election from Thursday.

IEBC Chairman Issack Hassan said the ballot papers are to be distributed to all polling centres across the country beginning with the far flung areas to avoid a last minute rush experienced in past exercises.

"Ballot papers should go under security escort and they are the last for disbursement. The rest of the stuff - ballot boxes, stamps, stationary - are already at the polling stations. So I think people should have no cause to worry," Hassan stated.

Addressing a press briefing during a meeting with members of the East Africa Community observer group, Hassan reiterated that the relaying of election results will be effective and ruled out a repeat of the confusion witnessed in the 2007 General Election.

The chairman said that their electronic system for transmitting results was fool proof with near-zero chances of being interfered with or manipulated.

He added that phones to be used by returning officers had been configured to particular destinations and that only data verified by agents of candidates and parties will be transmitted, hence it was technically impossible to rig the election.

"This system has been used by the commission from 2010 until now. And we have two back-ups for our system. One is going to be at Bomas, the other is in the head office and a third one is outside the office. So we have put in place enough back-ups and security measures to ensure that this does not fail us," he said.

Presiding Officers will also be required to account for each of the ballot papers within the serial numbers of those issued to their stations.

There have been counter-accusations by politicians from both the Jubilee and CORD alliances on an alleged plan to rig the much-awaited election.

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