ICTVILLE

Late changes in poll plans ‘led to the delay in results’

Posted In NEWS, Politics - By admin on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013 With No Comments »
latepoll

An IEBC official inspects forms manually after receiving them from grassroots. Last minute changes to what should have been a smooth transition of results from the polling stations could have been the cause of delay in releasing results

Last minute changes to what should have been a smooth transition of results from the polling stations could have been the cause of delay in releasing results, an electoral commission official has revealed.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission official told the Nation that while preparing for the March 4 election day, they were not issued with telephones to transmit results as earlier communicated.

Also, a new position of Master Presiding Officer was created at the eleventh hour. This officer and the presiding officer would be the only persons with specially configured phones to ensure the results reached the assigned receivers.

The official, who cannot be named due to the sensitivity of the matter, on Wednesday said it was only at about 9pm on Monday that phones for all presiding officers were delivered.

“By that time, I had already finished tallying the presidential results for my station and when I tried using the user-name and password I was issued with, it did not work, despite trying it five times,” he said.

He added that the situation was the same for the other presiding officers in that centre and that they informed the Returning Officer in charge of the constituency they were serving in.

The Returning Officer then advised them to carry on with the counting and later present the figures to the constituency tallying centres along with the boxes.

“Other than sending the figures, we were supposed to use the phones to update the RO of the number of votes cast at regular intervals, but this was not possible,” he explained.

Also, he complained that the batteries for the Electronic Voter Identification Devices, though brand new, had not been charged and each of the three they were provided with lasted only 30 minutes.

“At my station, we had to improvise and clerks who live nearby brought electrical extension cords which we used to keep the machines running,” he said adding that in what seemed as an afterthought having received many complaints, IEBC supplied the cords on Monday afternoon.

He also complained of the long hours they had to work, saying they collected materials for their centres on Sunday afternoon, arrived at their stations at about midnight and set up till the early hours of the morning.

“We were given 20 loaves of bread and 20 sodas. This was our breakfast, lunch and supper for the last three days,” he said.

According to him, they were supposed to change shifts with a team whose role was to count votes, but this was not to be.-Nation

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