Kenya assesses tech capacity to avoid glitches ahead of Election
Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is closely reviewing its technical capability amid growing concern over the organisation’s ability to communicate in realtime ahead of the country’s General Elections scheduled for 9 August 2022.
The regulatory body is focusing specifically on the infrastructure to be used to transmit election results.
According to Kenyan law, the Commission is required to simulate results transmission and provide a status update on how the system will work.
The body has already expressed concern over network coverage and said approximately 1,100 of the 46,000 polling stations are not covered by the 3G network in place.
The IEBC plans to use satellite modems at polling stations impacted by this coverage issue.
During the simulation exercise hosted in Nairobi, there were delays in transmission of the 2,900 sampled polling stations which heightened concern.
Michael Ouma, Director of ICT at the IEBC, said, “Because of the mistrust we experienced in the last general elections, we have put in place a situation where all political parties will have accounts logged into the system,” and added that parties will be able to review the forms as the Commission receives them from polling stations.
The IEBC is mindful of the fallout from the country’s 2017 elections and the fact that the Supreme Court of Kenya nullified the results due to what it described as “irregularities in result transmission.”
Marjan Hussein Marjan, CEO of IEBC Secretariate, said the electoral body will provide an application program interface for their partners to have a closer look at the whole transmission process.
“We are going to share an API which is a port where you can access all these forms (election result forms). We will give access to the API to the presidential candidates so that they can be able to access these results and they can tabulate their own from our portal.”
Marjan added that the Commission plans to encrypt transmission channels.