Possibility Of Kenyans In The Diaspora Voting In The Near Future PDF Print E-mail
In a potentially groundbreaking move, the Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) is in the process of preparing a Bill that will permit the over three million Kenyans in the Diaspora to cast their votes over the Internet. Currently, the National Assembly and Presidential Elections Act only provides for a manual voting system which locks out Kenyans overseas.

Isaack Hassan, IIEC chairman, said that Parliament needed to amend the elections law to allow for the new polling system, which might be handy considering the amount of data the commission would be processing in 2012. He went on to add that "We are looking at election laws with the aim of incorporating best practices in our voting system. E-voting may assist us process electoral data faster and in an efficient way." Mr. Hassan said they would include E-voting in the Bill to be in tandem with the new Constitution and that approximately Sh10 billion would be needed to operationalize the electronic vote

He made the revelations during an E-voting system demonstration done by the Estonian envoy to Kenya, Kadri Human Ayal. The Estonian Republic is currently undertaking elections where its nine million eligible voters are voting through the Internet. Martha Karua, Narc-Kenya Chairperson was in attendance and urged Kenya to embrace E-voting noting that in 2012, Kenyans will be voting for an unprecedented nine positions and this will attract more candidates than ever before. This will cause logistical nightmare in relation to the counting and tallying of votes for the IIEC given that all the work will be done on the same day. She further pointed out that Kenya would need to borrow a leaf from the Estonian system but at the same time there was a need to amend existing laws in the country. "We can adopt E-voting with some modification so that we seal all the loopholes brought by technology," said the Narc-Kenya leader.

This new development has the potential to drastically change the dynamics of the already convoluted Kenyan political landscape since the Diaspora think markedly different from local voters and are keener about issues of development and leadership ethics. How will local politicians change their game plans having to consider a different demographic from their current one. And will it have a great impact on who the coming presidents will be? Only time will tell.
Last Updated on Friday, 11 March 2011 04:02


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