Group calls for ‘robust technology’ to avert election disputes

Kenya Diaspora Alliance (KDA) has called on the electoral agency to embrace more robust technology to avert the experiences of past elections.

In a press statement, KDA Global Chairperson, Shem Ochuodho, a former Member of Parliament, said that Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) should introduce innovative electoral technologies to ensure transparent and accurate elections.

“While we think the Draft Regulations and existing electoral laws may be sufficient for purposes of next year’s elections, moving forward more robust arrangements for technology use are required,” said Dr Ochuodho.

Dr Ochuodho also said that the government should declare election technologies and systems as critical national infrastructure and give it the necessary resources to ensure that the election process is tenable.

The group further impressed upon IEBC to embrace mobile voter registration and other non-traditional ways such as use of e-mail, post, door-to-door campaign, national population registry and immigration data to facilitate registration of voters.

“IEBC has the duty to register all eligible voters from all the regions, not only in the country but also non-resident. Registration of voters should transcend the traditional registration centres and embrace mobile voter registration,” he said.

They also want IEBC to use Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) to generate digital certificates and signatures as a transparent and accurate method of voting.

On the Draft Elections Regulations developed by IEBC, the group wants the agency to rely on more than one telecom provider for resilience and suspension of technology be done only after consultation with the technical committee.

The IEBC recently came up with draft election regulations that are expected to provide measures that will ensure transparent procurement of IT equipment and proper testing of the equipment by the commission.

The regulations also require the commission to seek help of a professional and reputable company to undertake certification of the equipment and further develop a mechanism to detect and deal with possible intrusions and violation of the election technology system.

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