Kenya's new turn in electoral process is welcome [OPINION]

Kenya has been left behind in digitising her electoral processes since her independence.

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Our elections for decades have been conducted by use of manual systems, with the recent shift to the use of biometric means sparking national debate.

Kenyan elections have been marred by massive discrepancies such as double registration, ghost voters in the system and wrong tabulation of tallying results in the past.

This issue was seriously so pronounced in the 2007 general elections, that the country was plunged into chaos, thanks to rigging claims.

After a denial of results by the opposition, hundreds were killed as thousands displaced, in a historically protracted elections.

The opposition claimed that the electoral commission (then ECK) had denied them their rightful win.

Since then, changes have been made and one noticeable change is the agreement by all political factions to embrace the use of technology in the next general elections slated for 8 August 2017.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) recently awarded a French firm Safran Identity and Security a tender to provide a comprehensive solution for credible polls.

The company, in attender, would be required to provide technology based biometric kits that will be distributed countrywide for the election exercise, just three months away.

In pursuit of a free, credible and fair general election, over 45,000 tablet devices will be used to verify voter lists and to authenticate voters using both their photos, fingerprints and other key biometric features.

The tablet devices, commonly known as Morpho Tablets, are secure biometric tablets that will be used during the polls.  They are set to mediate a secure transmission of the voter turnout data and election results.

Will the exercise be free, fair and credible??

The Safran Identity and Security Chief Executive Officer Anne Bouverot said that the company will provide the Kenyan people with a “complete and secure solution in record time” for the upcoming general elections.

Recent success of this technology in Africa was evident in the Ivory Coast’s general election.

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