IEBC to supply both manual and electronic voter registers to polling centres

IEBC chairperson Wafula Chebukati

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, gives an update on the commission’s election preparedness at the Bomas of Kenya on August 5, 2022.

Photo credit: Francis deritu | Nation Media Group

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has said the commission will comply with court order on use of the manual voter register.

Mr Chebukati said the electoral commission will make available all physical copies of the voter register in all polling stations across the country, following orders issued by the High Court in Nairobi on Thursday.

Speaking during a media briefing at the Bomas of Kenya, Mr Chebukati said the commission has made arrangements to accommodate the ruling and this will see IEBC provide the manual register to compliment the electronic voter register.

“The commission, in compliance with the decision in High Court Constitutional petition number E 306 of 2022, shall now deploy the printed register of voters at the polling station where names of voters shall be crossed out after identification of voters using the KIEMs kits,” Mr Chebukati said.

“The commission commits to adhere to the rule of law and will facilitate the realization of political rights as encapsulated in Article 38 of the Constitution in order to deliver a free, fair and credible election,” he added.

IEBC was on Thursday ordered by the High Court to include the manual register to identify voters following a case filed by human rights groups.

In the ruling issued by Justice Thande Mugure, the court argued the decision of the IEBC to abandon the printed register violates the Constitution, which provides that where an electronic voter identification device fails, then use of a physical register would suffice.

The judge said the decision by the commission to abandon the printed register violates the Constitution, which provides that where an electronic voter identification device fails, then use of a physical register would suffice.

IEBC had argued that its decision to rely on the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (Kiems) kits to identify the 22.1 million registered voters during the polls was in compliance with a court ruling issued in 2017.

The commission further argued that its decision was also based on fears of possible abuse of the physical register.

Mr Chebukati said the commission’s prevision position on the use of the physical register was that it would be used as a complementary mechanism to the Kiems kit, a position that has since changed following the High Court ruling.

“Guided by the Court of Appeal judgement of August 4, 2017, the commission resolved to use the printed register of voters only in instances where the Kiems kits completely fail and that there is no possibility of repair or replacement,” he said.

IEBC also said it had so far received about 4,433 pallets containing ballot papers, with a further 18 pallets set to arrive into the country tomorrow. Of the pallets received, 3141 have already been distributed to various polling centres across the country.

“The distribution is as follows, for President we have distributed 164 pallets, for governor 585 pallets, for senator 514 pallets, woman representative 555, MPs 583, MCAs 730 pallets. The distribution continues and we will receive the last 18 pallets on Saturday.”

“Our target is that by Sunday, all the ballot papers should be in their respective constituencies. And we are in schedule and on course so far. We have also received the form 34Bs which will also be distributed,” IEBC commissioner Mr Francis Wanderi said.

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