Voters to use six ballot papers in next general elections

Written By Michael Maunda on Monday, June 18, 2012 | 11:45 PM

Kenya - Voters in the next elections will be handed six ballot papers at a polling station to choose their preferred leaders.

Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission chairman Isaack Hassan on Monday also said presidential results would be the first to be announced, most likely within 48 hours after the election day. 

Mr Hassan said the commission reached the decision to use six ballot papers and boxes following the outcome of a mock election conducted in Malindi and Kajiado constituencies in March this year.

“The mock elections helped us to decide. Each seat will have its own ballot paper and when you walk to a polling station, you be given six ballot papers to cast your vote,” he said in an interview with the Nation.

The design and the number of ballot papers has recently led to heated debates on the best mode of voting following the creation of more elective seats under the Constitution. 

Apart from the presidency, MP and councillors, who have now been renamed county assembly representatives, voters will elect a governor, senator and women’s representative. 

There were proposals to have a fewer number which meant that one ballot paper could have two elective seats like the president and MP while the second could have governor and senator.

Of importance also was the time it took to complete casting the six ballot papers. 

Mr Hassan said the commission, the Catholic Justice and Peace Commission (CJPC) and international groups who observed the mock elections were unanimous that the best option was six ballot papers.

“It will take between four and 15 minutes to vote for literate and guided voters respectively,” he said. 

This means that each ballot paper will contain the names of candidates from different parties fighting for the elective seat. 

The ballot papers will spot different colours which will correspond with a code on each ballot box for various elective seats. This will make it easier to count votes. 

“The colours also will make it easier for voters to know which box to cast the vote,” he said.

Source: Daily Nation