Fellow Kenyans, The election process kicked off in most of the stations at 6am in the morning as planned. We note that there are some polling stations that opened late. The commission would wish to assure the public that such time lost will surely be compensated.
We are aware that some poll books have malfunctioned due to a variety of factors including power problems. However in all such cases, the commission has authorized the use of manual register. This device truly enhances the integrity of the electoral process and is not in any case an inferior alternative to the poll book.
To fully ensure that the entire process is foolproof we encourage the political party and candidate agents to be vigilant and observant at the polling and vote counting stages.
Requirement for voting
We wish to repeat that voters should present valid documents they used during registration. Only original ID and valid passport will be allowed.
An initial Audit of the ballot papers has revealed a very tiny number, no more than half dozen of positions with missing political party symbols, mix-up of candidate pictures and one or two candidate's names entirely missing from the register.
All such cases concern only the County Assembly Wards. In the interest of fairness and observant of its constitution mandate the commission has rescheduled elections in such county assembly wars to 11th March 2013.
Our returning officers and presiding officers have been notified of this fact and candidate agent in respective wards notified. These wards are:
1. Kuria East Constituency
(a) Nyabasi west ward
(b) Goke Haraka ward.
2. Bunyala south county assembly ward
3. Gwasi North County Assembly Ward
4. Samburu North
However, elections for all the other positions, i.e. president, governor, senator, national assembly and women representative are going on as scheduled. In this regard, voters will be given five ballot papers instead of six.
The Commission will announce later when elections for the affected position will be held as soon as we print new material.
There are areas where there will be no voting because the candidates of those areas went unopposed.
There are also cases of candidates whose candidature were unopposed. This will be pronounced election unopposed and the names gazette in due course.
The commission has unfortunately experienced insecurity in some regions of the Country. The response of the security agencies has been commendable so far.
The commission wishes to reiterate its appeal to the people of this Country not to be cowed or intimidated by acts of lawlessness and way ward behaviours intended to cause despondency and to disenfranchise the electorate.
This appeal is important and we urge you to take it seriously.
The commission is happy to report that it surmounted all the logistical challenges necessary to mount a successful election.
As of now the challenges posed by the poll book although predictable and largely addressed remain a matter of concern to the commission and the necessary remedial measures have been taken and the results so far indicate marked improvement in the performance of the devices.
Unlike elections elsewhere in Africa in recent memory failure of technology will not hinder or inhibit the conduct of this election. We urge voters to maintain calm at the polling stations as this matter is addressed.
We also thank Kenyans for so far turning out in large numbers.
Hassan is the c hairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.