Kenya Electoral Commission To Adopt Blockchain Technology

Blockchain, News | August 23, 2018 By:

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), Kenya’s electoral agency, is planning to use blockchain technology in the country’s next presidential elections to offer real-time results.

The IEBC said that the Kenyan government has formed a task force to guide the reform process that will see the adoption of blockchain.

“East Africa’s biggest economy is turning to the distributed-ledger technology that’s used to verify and record cryptocurrency transactions to boost transparency and reduce perceptions of opacity, and to enable presidential candidates to securely access results,” said IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

Reports suggest that Kenya’s elections have frequently been contested with widespread rigging and irregularities since the country adopted a multi-party democracy in 1991. Opposition leader Raila Odinga rejected the outcome of two presidential polls last year, with the first annulled by the Supreme Court, which cited massive irregularities. Kenya had introduced biometric voter registration, but the system has continuously failed both during voting and tallying exercises.

While the IEBC believes blockchain technology is the answer to the country’s election woes, skeptics said there’s still a lot of questions about how the IEBC will design and protect the system and handle voter anonymity.

“No one in the world so far, at least from what I’ve seen, has come up with a foolproof, concrete design for a blockchain for elections,” said Michael Kimani, chairman of the Blockchain Association of Kenya.