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Cord sets high bar, demands rigorous audit of voter register

The opposition has demanded the highest possible audit scrutiny for the voter register, days after the IEBC admitted thousands of cases of multiple shared registration.

The revelation could be a Pandora’s Box.

Cord says Jubilee is planning to rig the August election.

In a strategy document seen by the Star, the Raila Odinga-led coalition says inspection of the register must involve an audit trail to identify any security breach of the IEBC database.

If a security violation has taken place, the document says, the forensic audit must unearth the architects of any breach, when it was done and what actions can be taken to prevent future breaches.

For the first time, IEBC on Tuesday acknowledged that 128,926 Kenyans share ID or passport numbers in its database.

This heightens anxiety about trouble on Election Day if the system is not thoroughly cleaned up.

“These inquiries must be answered by independent and unbiased observers,” the document reads.

Cord says the audit must explain how people who never registered have found themselves in the voter register and why some voters, who were genuinely registered, now find their details missing.

The eight-page strategy document signed by Cord CEO Norman Magaya emerged just days after Raila protested against what he called massive rigging fraud by the National Intelligence Service.

“This NIS-driven process is responsible for the multiple registrations, shared identity card numbers and many cases of people who are captured as registered when indeed they had never done so…Kenyans are not prepared to have the NIS choose for them their next leader again,” Raila warned.

Raila’s statement was trashed by both President Uhuru Kenyatta and the electoral agency.

But that statement was followed by another from Musalia Mudavadi’s ANC, which questioned the timing of the launch of the Jubilee membership smart card.

Scheme by ‘rigging experts’

ANC secretary general Godfrey Osotsi said the countrywide membership registration is designed to coincide with the ongoing voter registration to connect “Jubilee election rigging experts” to the IEBC voters’ database and strategic technology infrastructure.

Cord says the forensic audit of the voter register must be conducted by a certified information systems firm, officially accredited by international professional association known as ISACA.

The IEBC had given the tender to well-known auditors KPMG, but the contract was suspended by a court. Cord insists that KPMG has expertise in financial auditing and has no known experience in auditing a voter register.

According to its strategy document, the audit should start by analysing and comparing each voter’s biometric records against every other record in the IEBC database.

“This comparison should use at least four to six fingerprints of every voter. The audit should also include a thorough analysis of voters’ personal information to determine patterns that may point in the direction of duplicated or invalid information,” it states.

minors, deceased listed

Cord also wants the audit to eliminate any minors and deceased people captured as voters in the register.

The document says that one of the standard ways to ensure accurate information would be to compare the IEBC database with the available information in the national Births and Deaths Registry and other third-party-source registries.

The opposition wants the IEBC to publish how it consolidates voter registration drives, from the 2013 register and the subsequent statistics.

The IEBC wants an out-of-court settlement with Cord to end the voter register audit standoff. The impasse threatens to upset the commission’s electoral timelines, seven months to the poll.

IEBC chief executive Ezra Chiloba has warned the ongoing court battle may disrupt tight timelines.

“We don’t know when that case will be concluded. We don’t know when we would start the audit and we don’t know the impact of that delay on election preparedness,” he told a news conference on January 18.

“My prayer is that the potential conflict or disagreement can be sorted out of the court [and this can] perhaps be explored so we are on the same page as we prepare for election.”

But Cord insists the audit threshold set by the IEBC falls below the standard envisioned in law. It says the “rot” in the voter register would not have been discovered were it not for their vigilance.

“Jubilee and the IEBC had all along insisted the register is fine. If it were not for our protest and the eventual talks, we would have gone to the election with a rotten register. So, IEBC must listen to us because we know what happened in 2013,” an opposition MP told the Star.

On Tuesday, Chekukati said of 128,926 records of shared IDs, the commission identified 107,777 records showing same ID but different names. Another that 53,671 were shared more than once.

The remaining 21,149 are persons who attempted to register more than once in different polling stations.

Source: THE STAR

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