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Kenyans to foot cost of fresh elections after ballot paper mix-up

The IEBC has so far suspended 6 elections around the country

An IEBC clerk issues ballot papers to a voter during the 2022 General Election on August 9, 2022

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has come under fire from many Kenyans over the challenges experienced in the 2022 General Election.

One of the first problems that were experienced was the confusion where ballot papers were printed with the wrong images and some ballot papers were missing.

IEBC noted that some of the errors made on the strategic voting material were caused by the firm tasked to print the ballot papers.

IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati told Kenyans that elections that have been suspended such as gubernatorial polls in Mombasa County and Kakamega County would be scheduled for a later day.

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The commission explained that the printing firm would undertake to make the necessary corrections at its own cost.

However, IEBC commissioner Abdi Guliye also said in an interview with Citizen TV that IEBC will have to look for funds to undertake all the elections that have been suspended.

The by-elections are usually budgeted for on an activity basis and funding will have to be sourced from the consolidated fund,” Guliye said.

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The Consolidated Fund is where the national and county government draw their funds. All revenues received, interest earned and money borrowed by the government goes into the Consolidated Fund.

This means that Kenyan taxpayers will have to incur the cost of holding the elections for the affected areas. Some of the costs include logistics, personnel as well as time.

Politicians will also suffer losses after using their campaign resources to mobilise their supporters.

Many voters in Kenya travel to the rural areas where they are registered as voters and a number of them are less likely to embark on a similar journey when the suspended elections are held afresh.

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The government had also declared August 9 as a public holiday, freeing up people to be able to participate in the General Election.

After the resumption of work, many voters may struggle to find time to participate in the suspended elections.

The August 9 General Election also saw the failure of multiple KIEMS kits across the country despite being termed as one of the world’s most expensive polls.

Nairobi, Western, Coast, Mt Kenya and other regions experienced delays during voting after the devices failed to recognise fingerprints.

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