6 clear differences between the 2013 and 2017 elections in Kenya
This is the first time Kenya has successfully deployed the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (what we now call KIEMS kit) nationally.
There is a lot of differences though between the general elections Kenya just organised and previous ones.
Here are a few comparisons.
Returning Officer has final say
Unlike in 2013, where Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairman had the final word, the case is not the same this year round.
The Court of Appeal on June 23rd, ruled that Presidential results will be announced at constituency level and not at the national tallying center in Bomas of Kenya.
Shorter queues, much shorter and in some areas even nonexistent
The 2017 general elections queues was considerably shorter and in some places nonexistent.
The notorious Moi Avenue primary school polling station (Nairobi) which in 2013 had long meandering queues with no end in sight, this time round it was shorter to the surprise of voters.
This has been made possible by IEBC ingenious idea to have only a maximum number of 700 voters per polling station .
Technology actually works
This is the first time Kenya has successfully deployed the Kenya Integrated Election Management System (what we now call KIEMS kit) nationally, a key milestone in facilitating an efficient voter registration, candidate registration, voter verification and transmission of results.
A few incidents were reported across the country of voters being turned away after being not able to be identified by the KIEMS kit but however majority of the electoral process went smoothly with no major hitches.
In cases where KIEMS kit failed, voter's national identity card were used for registration as an alternative.
This is a far cry compared to 2013, where all most all electronic kits failed before the voting process had even started.
High voter’s registration and turnout
By close of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise early this year, IEBC had registered 3.7 million new voters.
The electoral body after verifying the voter’s details, released the final list of eligible voters which had a total of 19.6 million voters, 5 million more compared to 2013, where IEBC only managed to register 14.3 million voters.
Vote tallying done at constituency level
Unlike the past, vote tallying will be done at the polling stations and all agents will be able to witness the vote counting process.
It will be overseen by the presiding officer who will then transmit the final results to the national tallying center in Nairobi.
Polite and professional IEBC staff
IEBC have seriously upped their game during the 2017 general elections.
In a bid to clean its image, IEBC early last month announced it would prosecute any of its staff who engaged in electoral misconduct.
The electoral body announced that unlike in the past where electoral misconduct went unpunished, this year electoral offenders would be severely disciplined under the Election Offense Act.
Thousands of Kenyans who participated in the electoral process shared their experience at just how well they were treated and assisted by the competent IEBC staff.
A look at social media and it is awash with Kenyans sharing their experience and congratulating the electoral body.
The IEBC replaced presiding officers in three Nairobi constituencies following a delay in opening the polling stations to voters.
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