IEBC to scale down polling clerks per centre

By JEREMIAH KIPLANG’AT jkiplangat@ke.nationmedia.com  ( email the author)

Posted  Wednesday, February 27  2013 at  17:33
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The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will cut the number of polling clerks in each voting centre from nine to seven.

This is after the mock elections revealed that seven polling clerks the right number for each station.

IEBC chief executive officer James Oswago explained that the scale down was part of the findings generated in the simulation exercise done last Sunday in all counties.

“We are reducing the clerks partly as response to the simulation results,” Mr Oswago explained on Wednesday when he responded to concerns raised by the Jubilee coalition on the planned move to reduce the number.

Earlier the Jubilee Coalition had asked the electoral body not to reduce the number of polling clerks in each station saying doing so will slow down voting on Monday.

The coalition had revealed that the Commission was considering cutting the number of clerks “from six to four”. However, they rejected the plan saying the move could affect the pace of voting leading to long queues.

“This is a matter of concern to us. We are asking the commission to reconsider the move,” said the coalition’s spokesperson Stephen Karau.

The spokesperson had called a media conference where he questioned the IEBC’s action and also asked for clarification on the pattern of depositing ballot papers at the polling centres.

“We want to know what ballot box will be first and in which order they will be lined up at the stations,” Dr Karau, also the Jubilee Council secretary, said.

He also asked the commission to clear the air on the manner they will handle voters who exceeded 500 in each station.

He said the recent mock elections showed that some stations had more than the “recommended” 500 voters per each station.

Meanwhile a member of the council Amina Abdalla called on Jubilee supporters to turn out and vote in large numbers on March 4 saying the predicted run-off could be dealt away with if all voters came out and cast their ballots.

“It is imprudent to use another Sh6billion to cater for the run-off. The money could be used to improve the economy instead of using it in the second poll,” Ms Abdalla said.

Several pollsters have indicated that no presidential candidate would be able to garner the required 50 plus one percentage votes to ward off the second round of voting in the first exercise on Monday.

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