Stringent rules for poll officials in voting centres

IEBC presiding officers must provide political parties or their agents with a copy of results declared immediately after the announcement at the poling stations.

On August 8, agents will also be required to append their signatures on the results declaration forms, confirming that the results announced by the presiding officers are authentic. Presiding officers will also be required to affix a copy of the declaration of the results at the public entrance to the polling station or at any place convenient and accessible to the public at the polling station.

These are among new regulations meant to operationalise the Election Act (Amendment), 2016 — a product of lengthy negotiations between Jubilee and the then Cord coalition.

A presiding officer may, upon request, divulge to a candidate or agent of a candidate the total number of voters who have voted at the station at any time before the poll is closed.

Part of Opposition chief Raila Odinga’s strategy to enhance turnout in his backyard is for his agents to identify those who have not voted and physically look for them.

Raila’s previous bids have been hurt by low turnout. The regulations make it difficult for dead voters to participate in the election even if the electronic voter identification devices fail.

According to the regulations, in case of technology failure, the presiding officer shall invite the agents and candidates in the station to witness that the voter cannot be identified using the device.

The voter will then be required to complete verification Form 32A in the presence of agents and candidates to allow for identification of the voter using the printed register of voters. Once identified, poll officials will proceed to issue the voter with the ballot paper to vote.

On Monday however, NASA argued that the IEBC should postpone the election if the electronic system fails on polling day.

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