In Summary
  • IEBC explained that they could not electronically transmit these forms from some locations that had no network or 3G mobile coverage.
  • However, the Supreme Court determined that Form 34Bs consolidated their data from Form34As, hence and therefore both forms must go hand in hand.
  • We also know that even if we hired the Pope to be the IEBC Chairman, but failed to fix the system, we shall still be back to the Supreme Court in November

You know by now that the Supreme Court finally rendered its full judgment on the presidential petition last week.

We shall ignore the stationery-related illegalities and irregularities cited on the Forms 34A, 34B and 34C.

Instead, we shall dissect what went wrong electronically with a view to correcting it.

The key electronic illegality cited by the court was the fact that the presidential results as captured on Form 34A at the polling stations, were in many instances, not scanned and transmitted simultaneously with the text-typed results.

Section 39(1C) of the Elections Act 2016  provides that:

“For purposes of a presidential election the Commission shall-

(a) electronically transmit, in the prescribed form, the tabulated results of an election for the President from a polling station to the Constituency tallying centre and to the national tallying centre;

(b) tally and verify the results received at the national tallying centre; and

(c) publish the polling result forms on an online public portal maintained by the Commission.

This means that the Presiding Officers at the polling stations were supposed to count, tally and make entries on Form34As and subsequently transmit both the scanned form and the text results to the constituency and the national tallying centers.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) explained that they could not electronically transmit these forms from some locations that had no network or 3G mobile coverage.

The court decline to accept this explanation citing the fact that IEBC had previously mapped out these locations and even advised POs to move to and transmit from the nearest polling stations or constituency stations that had coverage.

LESSON ONE: For the repeat elections, IEBC must transmit all the 41000+ scanned Form34As simultaneously with the text results. They must therefore invest in satellite transmission technologies in cases where there is no mobile internet coverage.

Even where transmission was successful, the results displayed were so basic and scanty that one could not tell which polling station the results were streaming from. No wonder the pregnant speculation about IEBC having illegal or virtual polling stations.

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