Ahmed Hassan is making the rounds to explain the new Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission’s plans for a better tallying and reporting process in the upcoming election. From Reuters today, under the headline “ICC trials main threat to Kenyan polls”, here is the pitch:
Speaking at the Reuters Africa Investment Summit, Hassan said judicial and electoral reforms included in a new constitution adopted in 2010 and new technology should deliver a fair election that would avoid the cycle of bloodletting.
Under a new system, the tally of ballots for a presidential candidate, cast at thousands of polling stations across the country of about 40 million, will be transmitted electronically to a national counting centre and broadcast live on television.
Previous elections have suffered from claims that votes were interfered with while being transported from polling stations to regional tallying centres.
The new system, which cost $1 million to install, uses the 3G data network used by mobile phone companies and was first tried in a 2010 referendum to ratify the constitution.
Kenya will also switch to an electronic register of voters after ballot boxes at the 2007 elections were found to contain the votes of people who had not registered and even some who were dead.
“Technology can enhance confidence in the results. We are the first country in Africa to use the transmission of ballots counted real-time, live,” said Hassan, who won praise for using technology for the referendum, earning the 42-year-old lawyer the president and parliament’s nod for the IEBC job.
I am looking forward to attending an event (Kenya Elections: Building a Peaceful, Credible Process) at the International Foundation of Electoral Systems tomorrow with the IEBC and IFES leadership to hear more.
(h/t Texas in Africa)