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Voters will not be allowed to take photographs inside polling stations, the electoral commission chairman Wafula Chebukati has said.

They have been forbidden to even take photos of ballot papers showing who they have voted for.

Only journalists accredited to cover the August 8 General Election will be allowed to take photographs inside the polling stations.

SECRECY

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They will however be limited to only showing how the voting is going on within the polling station.

“Voting is supposed to be secret. It is illegal to show everyone or post on any social media group who you have voted for,” Mr Chebukati said on Friday at the Bomas of Kenya.

“Nobody is saying you cannot take your selfies after voting. In fact, you can have your mobile phone or camera on you at the polling station.

“The only request we are making is that you do not take photos or make calls within the polling station as a voter,” Mr Chebukati added.
SOCIAL MEDIA
The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) said the restriction is meant to protect the right of voters to secrecy of the ballot in accordance with the law, and not to intimidate them not to pick their preferred candidate.

IEBC commissioner Margaret Mwachanya said she cannot imagine a scenario created by every voter displaying on Facebook or any other social media platform whoever he or she has voted for.

“Let’s imagine that, then have a candid discussion,” Ms Mwachanya said.

TRUST
Law Society of Kenya president Isaac Okero urged Kenyans not to behave like “tourists” in a polling station.

“The secrecy of your vote is paramount. I believe Kenyans would not want to behave like tourists, taking selfies in the ballot booth. It’s a tool for accountability,” he said.

At the same time, Mr Chebukati asked Kenyans not to judge the commissioners on the basis of the events of 2013 as “we just came in January and have put all systems in place to deliver a credible poll”.

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