Giving Fresh Credibility to Kenya’s Electoral System
The biometric voter registration drive conducted in Kenya by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), was launched on the 19th of November 2012. The voter registration exercise ran for 30 days (including weekends and public holidays).
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission registered 14.3 million voters using the biometric voter registration technology system. Biometric data captured during the registration is is being linked with electronic voter identifiers (electronic poll books) while text data is being used for real time electronic result transmission and display systems. The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) invested over $ 6 million USD in the two systems, through United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). According to analyses, two of the most significant factors attributed to the failure of the 2007 election were the inability of the Electoral Commission of Kenya to compile a credible voter register, and the lack of an efficient results reporting system.
USAID has partnered with Civil Society Organizations to ensure the effective use of the biometric voter registration technology in the upcoming 2013 presidential elections, to prevent fraud and reduce the likelihood of violence. Technical assistance and support to the civil society organizations include development of a system to be used in auditing the voter registration exercise, production of digital electoral constituency maps and support to a statistically based parallel vote tabulation exercise to be implemented by Election Observation Group. USAID through IFES and UNDP provided technical assistance to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in the roll-out of nationwide biometric voter registration exercise.
by Jef Karang'ae