IEBC to use satellite in areas with poor network

The Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) says it is putting in place measures to ensure electronic voter identification and result transmission runs smooth on polling day.

The commission says it is working closely with three mobile phone service providers to expand their network and also acquire satellite services in remote areas that are not covered.

The agency says it has already struck a deal with Airtel, Safaricom and Orange to roll out 3G and 4G networks to enable smooth transmission results.

The electoral body says the law does not provide for an alternative result transmission method other than electronic and thus they are working to put up in place a system that is foolproof.

“We have mapped all areas in the country and are engaging service providers to expand their network. We also will acquire Satellite services,” IEBC Chief Electoral Officer Ezra Chiloba said.

During transmission, in case the network fluctuates, Chiloba says transmission will be delayed to allow electoral officials move to a place where there is network to relay the results to either constituency, county or national tallying centres.

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“In the likely event there is network outage, will move to a place with network so as to relay the results,” he said. Other than the results, the election officials will also scan results declaration forms and submit them electronically.

Chiloba was speaking at a city hotel on Tuesday during a forum dubbed Assessment of Kenya’s Preparedness for the August 8 General Elections which was organized by civil society AfriCOG.

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