Thursday, July 25, 2024

How vehicles will be used as IEBC polling stations in new elections bill

A bill has been proposed in the Senate by Majority Leader Aaron Cheruiyot and Minority Leader Stewarts Madzayo, seeking to change the nature of a polling station, among other things. 

As per the Elections (Amendment) Bill 2024, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will be granted the power to designate vehicles or vessels to be used as polling stations. 

“The Commission shall appoint a place or places or designate a vehicle or vehicles or a vessel or vessels as a polling station or polling stations for each electoral area,” reads the Bill as insertion of new Section 38A

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The Elections (Amendment) Bill describes a vessel as any ship, boat or any other vessel used in navigation. Once the vehicles have been identified for use as polling stations, they will be set apart and equipped for the casting of votes by voters at an election. 

After being equipped, the IEBC shall be mandated to announce their locations in the Kenyan Gazette and publicize them through national electronic and print media, as well as other platforms. 

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The Gazette Notice will list the polling stations for each electoral area and must be published at least three months before any election.

“No election shall be conducted in a place other than a place gazetted as a polling station under subsection,” the Bill reads.

However, the bill does not specify if the vehicle or boat can move from one place to another within the 3 months leading up to the elections. 


President William Ruto, joined by Raila Odinga and other national leaders assented the IEBC bill into law on July 9th. Its main purpose was to pave the way for the selection panel to recruit the IEBC Commission and eventually reconstitute it.

According to the bill, the panel will now include representatives from the Parliamentary Service Commission, Public Service Commission, Political Parties Liaison Committee, Law Society of Kenya, and Inter-Religious Council of Kenya.

“I concur with leaders who have said there must be professionalism and integrity as part of the cardinal principles of the men and women who will be charged with overseeing our elections,” he said.

“Most of the issues being raised by the youth today are contained in the NADCO report. If it is implemented fully, it will address all the issues Kenyan youth have raised,” Raila spoke at KICC. 

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