The printing of ballot papers for the October 26 fresh polls has been concluded with the first batch for counties far from Nairobi already in the country. The second batch expected to be flown in today while final batch will be in the country tomorrow.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) first announced the dispatch schedule on it Facebook page on Thursday, October 19, a week to the disputed Election Day.
“The printing of ballot papers for the fresh presidential poll has been completed in Dubai, UAE. The first batch, comprising of packages for counties that are far from Nairobi, is expected in Nairobi on Saturday 21st at 8pm. Two other consignments will follow on 23rd and 24th respectively,” posted IEBC.
The consignments are packaged in constituency pallets and also contain voter registers, check list forms, KIEMs validation forms and other documents required at each polling station.
According to the IEBC, the ballot papers for the fresh presidential poll have new or improved features, which include:
a) The original result Form is of higher quality (grams) for better scans and clearer entries. It is not perforated and therefore not easy to remove and must remain on the booklet. and not. Subsequent copies are perforated to make it easy to share with the candidates and agents.
b) The result forms are carbonless papers, which means multiple copies can be created through transferring the impression from the first page. The poll officials have been trained to exert sufficient pressure to make at least 5 readable copies using ballpoint pens.
c) Whereas the August 8th presidential poll forms where white, the October 26th forms are grey. The serialisation is tapered, which means numbers are made thinner towards the end to discourage forgery. Other improved or newly introduced features include UV sensitive security features, water marks, embossing and anti-copy features.
d) The booklet size has been reduced from 50 to 30 ballot papers per booklet in a bid to reduce the extra ballots. Since printing is done in blocks (and not in variance), achieving a number nearest the actual registered voters per polling station is best if booklets have fewer copies. There is a stringent mechanism for accounting of all ballot papers, used or unused.
Nasa candidate Raila Odinga has since withdrawn from the fresh polls through a letter, which has been rubbished by IEBC arguing that it is not backed by law. The electoral commission said that any candidate who wishes to withdraw from the October 26 election should do so by submitting a duly filed Form 24A, and not through a letter.
The commission was put into more crisis following the resignation of Commissioner Roselyn Akombe, who cited political influence in the commission and termed it as not being independent. The call by Nasa leaders for reforms before elections have fell on deaf ears, following deep-rooted differences in the commission.
Chairman Wafula Chebukati has so far formed a project team that will oversee the elections, leaving out top-ranking officials believed to have bungled the August polls, including the CEO Ezra Chiloba who has taken a three-week leave four days to elections.