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Kenya embraces computerized system of transmitting election results

o Michael Malakata
21.02.2013 kl 20:19 | Computerworld Zambia

Kenya has joined several other African countries that have adopted electronic transmission of general election results to avoid the rigging that is so rampant and a major cause of violence in the region.

 

Kenya has joined several other African countries that have adopted electronic transmission of general election results to avoid the rigging that is so rampant and a major cause of violence in the region.

Kenya's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has said it will for the first time use an electronic results transmission system in the general elections.

Kenyans are going to the polls next month to elect a new president and members of parliament to end the power-sharing government that was formed after the disputed 2007 election results that resulted in clashes and the deaths of more than 1,200 people.

The East African country joins South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among other countries in the region, that have embraced electronic transmission of election results to avoid vote tampering.

According to IEBC CEO James Oswago this week, the technology was developed by the IEBC and International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES).

In Zambia, the use of a computerized system to transmit election results resulted in the opposition winning the elections for the first time in the 20 years of the country's democratic history.

"Electronic systems have worked well in many African countries and have proved to be a sure way of eliminating human errors that have normally caused confusions. This time we expect the results to be generally accepted by all participating parties," said Edith Mwale, telecom analyst at Africa Center for ICT Development.

But Kenyan opposition political parties, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other stakeholders have raised concerns over the use of electronic transmission of voting results.

Among the concerns raised are the security of the system, the measures taken to encrypt the data to prevent hacking and corruption of data during transmission, measures to be taken in case of server failure, and data backup and storage.

Oswago, however, said the computerized systems were tamper-proof and able to handle the large amount of data that will be transmitted on election day.

Keywords: Government  
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