Kenya’s electronic voting system isn’t ready for election re-run


The firm behind Kenya’s new biometric voting system says it won’t be ready in time for the country’s election re-run.

OT-Morpho, the French firm that provided Kenya with equipment to identify voters biometrically during its first election attempt on August 8 says it won’t be able to deploy the same system for the October 17 re-run.


Kenya re-run in doubt

Earlier this month, Kenya’s Supreme Court nullified the result of the country’s August 8 poll, ordering a second election to be held within 60 days of the ruling. The country’s electoral commission promptly announced that a re-run would be held on October 17. However, this date is now in doubt following comments from OT-Morpho suggesting it won’t be able to provide the same biometric system in such a short time-frame.

“This represents a very significant amount of work, which cannot be secured by October 17,” the company said in a letter.


Changing election data ‘a last resort’

Andrew Limo, a spokesperson for Kenya’s election board, has told Reuters that changing the date of the election re-run is “a last resort strategy”. He says the board met on Monday to discuss the issue but it is yet to give a statement regarding its plans on how to proceed.

Tensions remain high following last month’s annulled election. The ruling Jubilee party says the planned October 17 re-run should go ahead as scheduled but the country’s main opposition alliance is already threatening to boycott the new poll if a number of key election officials aren’t sacked.

The only opinion shared by political opponents and political experts at this stage is that Keyna can’t afford to hold another failed election on October 17 or any rescheduled date.


Featured image:  “Kenya Election Posters” flickr photo by theglobalpanorama shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.