The new Constitution provides that the election of President, MPs and the Senate, the county governor and the county ward representatives be held ‘‘on the second Tuesday in August in every fifth year’’. The management of five elections in one General Election in one day will be a Herculean task for the proposed Independent Elections and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).
This will be against the spirit of the Constitution as provided for in Article 86, for it will be a recipe for chaos. It will be very difficult for voters to cast ballots in five boxes in one session. Even in the so-called developed democracies, managing and participating in five elections is quite difficult.
The Constitution directs the IEBC to ‘‘ensure that whatever voting method is used, the system is simple, accurate, verifiable, secure, accountable and transparent’’. Holding the election of president, MPs, the Senate, the governor and the ward representative on the same day is a tall order.
The Constitution also directs the IEBC to ‘‘ensure that the votes cast are counted, tabulated and the results announced promptly by the presiding officer at each polling station’’. This will take too long and is likely to test the patience of both the voters and the candidates. Even if there are many counting officials, presiding officers and returning officers, simultaneous announcement of results will disrupt the process as chaos is likely to erupt during victory celebrations or when the results are disputed.
The general elections, therefore, should be split into three, namely, presidential, parliamentary, and county. It is better to have a costly and democratic exercise than a chaotic process which is likely to cause loss of life and property.