Evaluation of Communications Technology Use for Elections 2002, Kenya
Kenya conducted elections for President, Parliament, and Civic Councils on December 27, 2002. The elections were widely acclaimed for the peaceful and orderly way in which the voters conducted themselves.
The Election Commission of Kenya has been rightfully commended for its many long hours of work in preparing for and conducting a historic election. However, as the celebration subsides, ECK should take time to review and improve the process. There were a number of technical flaws in the conduct of the elections (e.g. shipments of ballots to wrong polling stations, one ballot which listed the wrong political party for a parliamentary candidate, large numbers of legitimate voters whose names were missing from the registers, failure to establish communications link to the Press Center). As the vote counts came in and it became clear that the opposition had won both the presidency and the majority in the parliament by a wide margin, the focus by media and public was on celebrating the peaceful transition of power. Had this been a closely contested election, the flaws would have taken center stage, with potentially severe consequences.
By acting now to identify problems that occurred in this election, and to implement new procedures and systems addressing those problems, ECK can prevent such problems from occurring in future elections.