Kenya’s IEBC to Use Blockchain For Real-Time Voting and Polling Results
As you should probably know, the blockchain technology is an excellent technology for when you need to input information that cannot be changed. Because of this, it is very interesting for elections, as the risk of fraud is a reality in many countries.
Now, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC) has announced that it will use the blockchain technology to improve the trust and the integrity of the upcoming votation in the country by showing real-time polling results with its help.
The chair of the IEBC, Wafula Chebukati, has affirmed that the technology can give the presidential candidates in the upcoming election access to live results and this might help to overcome the legacy of violent elections like 2007 and 2017, when hundreds of people were killed and thousands were displaced within the country during the election.
The Electoral Problem In Kenya
Kenya has a history of very contested elections. The candidates regularly trade accusations of vote tampering and rigging, so the blockchain technology is very welcome in the country. During the 2017 presidential election, Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga split the country ethnically and regionally as Odinga and his supporters did not accept Kenyatta’s victory.
Odinga lost in court but still declared himself the “People’s president”. According to him, he was the rightful ruler of the country. While the election did not erupt in violence as it happened in 2007, it became clear that something had to be done to avoid ferocious ethnic violence and the solution was to use the blockchain to make the elections more transparent.
The Blockchain Technology In Kenya
Kenya is the home of the “Silicon Savannah”, one of the most successful technology hubs in Africa. It is specialized in mobile digital payments solutions. Now, the Blockchain Association of Kenya has been a long-time advocate of the use of this technology to prevent fraud and riots at the elections.
Even editorials from local newspapers believed that the blockchain can be a solution for the problem or, at least, an important step to creating something that will build voter trust among the Kenyans. If everything goes according to the plans, Kenya would be the second country in Africa to use the blockchain technology in elections, after Sierra Leone in 2018.
The country is also interested in using the blockchain technology for land registry, as a great part of the lands are registered in plain paper and it is troublesome to get access to credit and other financial systems because of it. Also, it would be a way to prevent fraud.