Suspicious Voter Transfers And a Compromised IT System Allegations Hit IEBC

IEBC official at a voter registration centre

The IEBC chiefs had sought to clear the air regarding voter transfers that were not accompanied by transfer request documents. The Commission’s compromised ICT system was a subject of deliberation in the Supreme Court after the last general elections

By The Weekly Vision

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said recently that it had discovered the existence of 1,019,000 voters who had been transferred to other stations against the targeted 800,000 who did so through the commission’s seemingly compromised ICT systems, a suspected case of internal manipulation.

IEBC chiefs have in the recent past desperately tried to restore the commission’s dented credibility to preside over the August 9th general elections. The commission chiefs sought to clear the air regarding voter transfers that were not accompanied by transfer request documents. The Commission’s compromised ICT system was a subject of deliberation in the Supreme Court after the last general elections.

A huge number of voters who made the requests, IEBC has admitted, had no accompanying documents, IEBC chiefs through their chair Wafula Chebukati even admitted that there was an internal breach which would have led to a compromised electronic voter registrar and voting system

The IEBC Chiefs said that for one to transfer from one polling station to another, a voter has to fill a form, which would then be the basis upon which the transfer would be affected, so far, they have not made public how and where the forms are and the processes to go through for a voter to make an informed decision.

A huge number of voters who made the requests, IEBC has admitted, had no accompanying documents, IEBC chiefs through their chair Wafula Chebukati even admitted that there was an internal breach which would have led to a compromised electronic voter registrar and voting system. Mr Chebukati says that one in 20 voters who registered in the 2017 general election sought to transfer to a different polling station.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein disclosed that they realized the illegality after several voters raised concerns while verifying their biometric data

However, he has not told Kenyans about the possible impact that the internal manipulation may eventually have on the next election if any. However, Mr Chebukati said that the 1.019 million transfer requests made means that approximately five per cent of the 19.6 million voters registered in 2017 sought to move to new voting stations.

About the illegal transfer of voters ahead of the August 9 elections which has emerged, IEBC Chief Executive Officer Marjan Hussein disclosed that they realized the illegality after several voters raised concerns while verifying their biometric data. Mr Hussein said: “The registration officer has the sole responsibility of ensuring that the register for his/her area is correct. He/she is the one who is responsible for effective transfer if there is any or even for registration of voters. The rule of the thumb is that for any transfer to be effective there must be a corresponding form that is filled up and signed by the voter,”

He went on: “We have been receiving complaints and therefore, we have tried to analyse to see whether these complaints we received during the verification process, were legitimate or not. So, we have come across some cases that we are seeing that there could be a sign of the existence or possibility that forms may not exist, that is when we decided to do a full-check.”

 He also reiterated the electoral agency’s readiness and preparedness to conduct free, fair and credible elections on August 9th hence no cause for alarm. Mr Hussein said in an interview with NTV that their systems remain efficient, he effectively was contradicting his chairman.  “We are very confident in the systems we currently have and speaking to the verification process, access to the central server by the registration officers who are called the returning officers is through a private network not through a public network. It is actually through point to point and each returning officer has got access rights,” said Mr Hussein.

 According to the IEBC CEO, following the 2017 Supreme Court ruling, the commission will only be transmitting form 34A from polling stations to the national tallying centre. He said: “When you talk about results transmission, the Supreme Court asserted itself as far as what are the results and what should be transmitted. What is to be transmitted is the form and not text. That is form 34A for the presidential election from polling station to the constituency tallying centre to the national tallying centre.”

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