IEBC adjusts poll timelines, acknowledges Seamless link

presidential ballot pallets JKIA

A police officer stands guard as IEBC commissioners led by Vice Chairperson Juliana Cherera receive presidential ballot pallets at JKIA on July 27, 2022. The electoral commission has adjusted its timelines on the preparation for the August elections by six days.

Photo credit: Jeff Angote | Nation Media Group

The electoral commission has adjusted its timelines on the preparation for the August elections by six days due to the various cases lodged in court by aspirants seeking to be on the ballot.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), while receiving the first batch of presidential ballot papers at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport Wednesday, said it will receive the last batch on August 3 and not July 29 as earlier indicated.

Commission Vice-Chairperson Juliana Cherera said IEBC had to wait for the conclusion of court cases lodged by aspirants before embarking on the printing of ballot papers in areas such as Mombasa, where former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko had a case at the Supreme Court.

“We have organised ourselves in such a manner that the ballots that will arrive late are those for nearby counties such as Kiambu,” Ms Cherera said. She confirmed that IEBC had also printed the manual register to compliment the digital one.

This comes as the commission distanced itself from Seamless Technologies, a local agent of Smartmatic International, which was awarded the Sh4 billion tender for voter identification equipment and software.

Contract only with Smartmatic

Mr Justus Nyang’aya, the commissioner in charge of technology, Wednesday told the Nation that the commission only has a contract with Smartmatic.

“It’s them (Smartmatic) who chose the local company. That was not our duty. This is not the first time they are working with Seamless Technologies, they had worked with them even before this election,” Mr Nyang’aya said.

He pointed out that Smartmatic had included in the tender that it would work with Seamless Technologies as its local agent.

No details of the past work done by the company or how it was contracted have been provided by the commission.

Ms Cherera, Mr Nyang’aya, Mr Justus Wanderi and Ms Irene Masit, together with representatives of political parties, received the first batch of 225 pallets of presidential ballot papers from Greece yesterday and assured the public that everything has been above board.

Second batch

The second batch of presidential ballot papers of 300 pallets are expected to arrive tomorrow (Friday), with the final consignment of 340 pallets expected on August 3.

The 225 pallets received yesterday are destined for 18 counties, including Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Tana River, Lamu, Taita Taveta, Garissa and Wajir. Others are Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Nyandarua and Nyeri.

The electoral commission has so far received 65.2 million ballot papers out of the expected 132 million.

The ballot papers for the diaspora are expected to arrive in the country today (Thursday).