Election Observation Mission

by | Jul 25, 2022

Read the Pre-election Observations Report on Kenya’s August 2022 Elections. (August 8th, 2022.)
Read the summary of the key findings of tech election observation mission. (August 30th, 2022)

In our civic duty as active and engaged citizens, KICTANet has deployed election observers to observe the tech component of our elections since 2013. The year 2022 is no different, and KICTANet will also observe the technology component of the elections nationwide from preparedness, the voting process, transmission, and post-election processes. We have deployed 90 observers from 21 counties.

The KICTANet technology election observers’ mission will provide a neutral and balanced impartial review of the election process and prepare a report that will be published on the KICTANet website.

Challenges with the 2022 elections – Key issues that have not been addressed.

1. Provide a public API to IEBC results system, to enable observers and other stakeholders to access the database and carry out results analytics.
2. Grant observers access to back-room server operations on the processing of results forms.
3. Ensure that the use of manual registers is supported by the expected documentary evidence as per IEBC regulations (such as approvals from Presiding Officers, and completion of requisite forms).
4. Transmit and display both text results and scanned result forms for all the elective positions in all polling stations to enhance transparency and verifiability of the elections.
5. Publish the data protection impact assessment report and privacy policy.
6. Ensure all technologies and devices to be used in the elections are all tested prior to
deployment to ensure sufficient performance.
7. Ensure comprehensive training of all election personnel well before the elections, especially on the aspects of the use of technology and devices.
8. Collaborate with electricity and telecommunications providers to ensure robust network and coverage during the elections, including ensuring that satellite backup is used in areas without 3G/4G network coverage.
9. Incorporate cyber hygiene, digital security and privacy in the curriculum used for the training of election officials.
10. Take measures to prevent vendor lock-in the acquisition and maintenance of technology infrastructure.
11. Social media companies should take measures to address rising hate speech, misinformation and disinformation on their platforms.
12. IEBC should respond in a timely manner to address any misinformation and disinformation targeting them.

 

Areas of elections that we are observing.

  1. Technology deployment and preparedness of the electoral body
  2. Voter registration process
  3. Elections day opening of polling stations
  4. The identification process of voters
  5. Elections polling station closing
  6. Elections Tallying centre
  7. Availability of infrastructures like power, cellular network, mobile signal, internet, and online services like social media sites, and search engines, in voting and tallying centres.

 

What have we done so far?

  1. Weekly articles on tech preparedness on elections and shared widely.
  2. Courtesy call with IEBC commissioners.
  3. Held a moderated discussion with the public on election preparedness and their expectations for the elections and shared it with IEBC.
  4. Participated in the 2022 National Election Conference.
  5. Meeting with European Union Election Observation Mission.
  6. Held Public engagement with Meta Platform Inc, Twitter, and Tiktok on the emerging Concerns on social media use in the Upcoming 2022 Elections.
  7. Training our observers on the election process, and the technology component on 26th July and 4th August 2022 from 2pm.
  8. INTERNET SHUTDOWN: Together with AccessNow, and the #KeepItOn campaign, Trained observers on internet measurements (OONI Probe) and use of VPNs and other tools in case of Internet Shutdowns (TunnelBear, Psiphon, Tor).

 

Our election observers are bound by the IEBC code of conduct, and KICTANet’s core values of independent, transparent, multistakeholderism, diversity, professionalism, impactful, integrity, excellence, and discipline.

KICTANet Research and Publications related to elections.

2022 KICTANet preliminary election observation report
This report presents a summary of the key findings of KICTANet’s election observation mission during Kenya’s general election held on August 9, 2022. During the election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) cleared 16,098 candidates to compete for six main elective positions across the country's 291 constituencies in 47 counties. KICTANet observed elections in various polling stations in 21 counties, focusing on technology aspects. Several encouraging and progressive steps were noted in the use of technology by the IEBC, and by the public. In the polling stations observed, there were adequate Kenya Integrated Election Management System (KIEMS) kits supplied, with clerks fairly competent in their use, and technical support personnel available to remedy challenges. Further, a majority of the voters were identified biometrically, and a minority through an alphanumeric search. In addition, most of the presidential results forms (34A) were transmitted electronically and are accessible in the IEBC public portal. 439 downloads Download 247.2 KB
Key recommendations to IEBC and other stakeholders:
  1. Provide a public API to IEBC results system, to enable observers and other stakeholders to access the database and carry out results analytics. 
  2. IEBC should also provide access to the results transmission portal by disclosing and publicising the URL for the portal to the public.
  3. Grant observers access to back-room server operations on the processing of results forms.
  4. Ensure that the use of manual registers is supported by the expected documentary evidence as per IEBC regulations (such as approvals from Presiding Officers, and completion of requisite forms).
  5. IEBC should transmit and display both text results entered in the KIEMS and the scanned result forms transmitted for all the elective positions across all polling stations to enhance transparency, accountability and verifiability of the elections. 
  6. IEBC should publish publicly, the data protection impact assessment report and privacy policy. 
  7. Ensure all technologies and devices to be used in the elections are all tested prior to deployment to ensure sufficient performance. 
  8. Ensure comprehensive training of all election personnel well before the elections, especially on the aspects of the use of technology and devices.
  9. Collaborate with electricity and telecommunications providers to ensure robust network and coverage during the elections, including ensuring that satellite backup is used in areas without 3G or 4G network coverage.
  10. Incorporate cyber hygiene, digital security and privacy aspects in the curriculum used for the training of election officials. 
  11. Take measures to prevent vendor lock-in in the acquisition and maintenance of its technology infrastructure. 
  12. IEBC should respond in a timely manner to address any misinformation and disinformation targeting them. 
  13. IEBC should publish and publicise important information for voter education on its website and disseminate them widely including on its social media handles.
  14. Social media companies should take measures to address rising hate speech, misinformation and disinformation on their platforms.
1604 downloads Download 791.2 KB
Don't hit the switch making the case against network disruptions in Africa 2017
181 downloads Download 392.6 KB
Disinformation in Kenya's Political Sphere: Actors, Pathways and Effects

This study assesses disinformation in Kenya’s political sphere. Disinformation is already in full display at national and grassroots levels, as politicians woo a heterogenous electorate divided along ideological, ethnic, economic, and demographic lines. While there exist multiple laws, social media platform guidelines, and user awareness efforts, disinformation remains a difficult beast to tame. This is particularly so in the heated and polarised environment of Kenyan politics, coupled with the sophisticated technological tools, technical ability of its perpetrators to create and disseminate content, and a public that is not sufficiently aware of disinformation. The data for this study has been gathered through a review of legal and policy documents from government and social media platforms, as well as interviews with respondents from the government, academia, political parties, digital content creation, and mainstream media.

458 downloads Download 15.4 MB
During the discussions, several proposals were made on the way forward:   1. NCIC, in consultation with social media platforms and other stakeholders, ought to develop a Best Practice Manual on fake news.   2. NCIC should involve bloggers in the fight against fake news. Using their platforms to call out fake news posts will certainly reach a wider audience.   3. NCIC ought to carry out comparative studies with other jurisdictions to find out what measures they have put in place to curb fake news and whether these measures have been fruitful.   4. All the different categories of stakeholders should intensify awareness campaigns.   5. KICTANet should engage with KENIC on the issue of takedowns, especially on the feasibility of a content policy.   6. It was proposed that the internet community should reach out to the Ministry of Education and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to incorporate Media and Information Literacy into the curriculum.   7. Many participants were of the opinion that fake news is a manifestation of deeper societal issues, key among them being greed for public office and divisive politics. It was proposed that there be developed a National Value System to entrench ethical values into the Kenyan culture.   368 downloads Download 486.6 KB
The Kenya ICT Action Network (KICTANet) deployed a 25-person election observer mission for Kenya’s 2017 General Election that took place on August 8, 2017. Kenyans voted for six positions namely Presidential, Senate, Parliamentary, Women’s Representative, Governor, and Member of County Assembly. KICTANet’s observation focused specifically on the use of technology from a user perspective and accordingly released a preliminary report which was published on 11 August 2017. 592 downloads Download 207.1 KB
Memorandum on Elections Laws Amendment Bill to the Senate Standing Committee on Justice Legal Affairs and Human Rights 2019
174 downloads Download 137.6 KB
KICTANet stakeholder participation on the Elections law Amendment Bill 2017
557 downloads Download 374.5 KB

 10,426 total views,  12 views today

Translate »