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Electronic voting will eliminate fraud in 2022 polls

The
Kenyan voting system has evolved with every other election, becoming a learning
process.

Our
elections have been purely manual, until the 2013 General Election, when the
country adopted the use of technology. It however failed, forcing the IEBC to
resort to use of manual identification of voters.

In
the just-concluded election, there was impressive use of technology and,
despite the challenges here and there, the Kenya Integrated Electronic
Management System achieved its intended purpose.

One
of the things we must do on a priority basis as soon as the dust settles on the
12th General Election is that we should not go to court again over
the procurement of ballot papers. This needs to be done electronically, and one
of the things the IEBC should do between now and the next election is to
develop a software application that will allow voters to vote electronically.
In Kenya, we have a better opportunity to go fully electronic and we the citizens
should trust our public institutions the way we trust the mobile money transfer
services.

Our
organization, the Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet), a platform for persons
and institutions interested in ICT policy, observed the use of ICTs before,
during and after last week’s election.

In
2016, KICTANet contributed to a national discussion on election laws through a
Memorandum on Election Law (Amendment) Bill) 2016 to the Senate. We made
several recommendations, among them the need for IEBC to develop a system that
safeguards the integrity of the vote as well as efficiency of transmission.

In
the preliminary report on the election, we note that the use of technology
in voter identification and transmission of results from the polling stations
enhanced the efficiency of the election.

It
is noteworthy that there are significant advantages in adopting electronic
voting as voters gain a better voting experience at the polls, are more
confident that their vote will be correctly counted, and are able to vote more
easily and efficiently.

If
Kenya will fully adopt the use of technology during registration,
identification, voting, transmission and tallying, the IEBC will be able
to increase voter turnout, reduce costs, increase voter confidence, renew interest
in the political system, and ensure the most democratic process possible.

Another
fundamental advantage of electronic voting is there is the possibility for
increased efficiency as voters can be reasonably confident that their vote
will count.

Githaiga
is the Co-convener, KICTANet

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