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3.11 Preparation for Polling Day Activities.

3.11.1. Management of Polling Day Activities and Declaration of Results.
The focus of all planning, preparation, recruitment and training, materials production, equipment acquisition, system testing and other preparatory activities which engage the attention of the Secretariat aims to ensure that operations on Polling Day run smoothly.

3.11.2. Opening of the Poll.
In all cases, preparations for opening of the poll are supervised by Presiding Officers in the presence of staff, Polling Agents and security personnel. Having ensured that the outlined procedures are adhered to the Presiding Officer declares the poll open.

3.11.3. Monitoring and Reporting.
Normal polling hours are from 06:00hrs to 18:00hrs during which staff of the Secretariat and Candidates of Contesting Parties visit Polling Stations to ensure that voters are provided with efficient, courteous service of high integrity. Specific areas which normally require careful monitoring include the effective supervision of staff, maintenance of security of the Polling Stations - votes, officials, materials - and ensuring that voting procedures are correctly implemented at all times by all Polling Stations. On the basis of the monitoring exercise, periodic reports are provided at District and Secretariat levels in a feedback mechanism to facilitate forward planning as the poll advances, as well as for security reasons.

3.11.4. Casting of Proxy Votes.
The law provides for no more than one person to be appointed to vote as a proxy on behalf of another elector. The person who is appointed to vote as proxy must be entitled to vote at the same Polling Station at which the elector on whose behalf his appointment is sought is entitled to vote and shall do so at the same time as he votes on his own behalf. The voter who presents himself/herself at the Polling Station will indicate to the Poll clerk that he/she will be voting for himself/herself and will also be casting a proxy vote. it is the responsibility of the voter to present to the Presiding Officer, all documents, including the Identification Card of the person for whom he/she is voting. Upon being satisfied that all documents are in order, the Presiding Officer grants permission for the voting process by proxy to be completed.

3.11.5. Closing of the Poll
Polls are (normally) closed at 18:00 hrs in accordance with the and polling stations are cleared of everyone except the Presiding Officer and staff, Election and Polling Agents and the on duty security officer. The doors are closed and the ballot boxes sealed in the presence of those authorised to be at the Polling Station at that time. After the closing of the poll, staff commence the paperwork accounting for the ballot papers including counting of spoiled, ordinary and tendered ballot papers; counting of used, ordinary and tendered ballot papers; counting of unused, ordinary and tendered ballot papers; and accounting for all ballot papers supplied, by using the prescribed format (Form 23).

3.11.6. Counting of the Votes and Declaration at the Place of Poll

COUNTING OF THE VOTES:
Prior to commencement of counting of the ballots, the Presiding Officer invites all present to check the ballot box to ensure that the seal is intact as done at the close of the poll. The box is then opened in the presence of all concerned and the contents laid out in the prescribed manner, on a the counting table which is arranged for that purpose. Ballots counted for each List of Candidates are placed in separate envelopes clearly marked so that the list is known to all and the number of the votes cast for that list is recorded. Similarly, rejected ballots are placed in a separate clearly marked envelope. The Presiding Officer affixes his seal to the envelopes and invites the duly appointed candidates/agents to do likewise. The envelopes are then placed in the OFFICIAL envelope which is sealed and placed in the ballot box. After the completion of the counting process, the Presiding Officer prepares form 23 A - STATEMENT OF POLL. This is the OFFICIAL Polling Station document reflecting the number of valid votes cast for each List of Candidates, the number of rejected ballot papers and the reasons for rejection of ballot papers. Once completed, the Presiding Officer certifies the required number of copies for distribution to representatives and agents who observed the count before inviting duly authorised persons who observed the count to endorse the document before copies are distributed to those present.

Declaration at the Place of Poll:
Once certified, an original copy of the Statement of Poll is posted on the outer wall of the respective Polling Stations, as official declaration of the results for each respective Polling Station..

3.11.7. Transmission of Results.
Each Returning Officer, in collaboration with his/her field staff, put arrangements in place for transmission of the results either through radio (hand-held), telephone or fax (under guidelines carefully assigned by the Logistics Department of GECOM) for relaying of the results to the Secretariat/Command Centre.

3.11.8. Compilation and Declaration of Preliminary Results.
Upon receipt, results are channeled by the Command Centre through a process of verification involving senior members of the Secretariat Staff after which the results are passed on to the Information Technology Section for encoding. Upon compilation of the results, progressive reports are printed and released to the public as preliminary results which are subject to changes.

3.11.9. Declaration of Official Results.
Returning Officers with support staff are brought in form all the Districts to be involved in manual verification. Upon completion of satisfactory verification, the results are certified by the Chief Election Officer and presented to a properly constituted meeting of the Elections Commission for ratification. The Chief Election Officer is then required in accordance with Section 96 of the Principal Act (Representation of the People Act Cap.1;03) to act as follows:- "After calculating the total number of valid votes which have been cast for each list of candidates, and the information furnished by Returning Officers under Section 84 (11) (votes cast in each electoral district) ascertain the results of the election in accordance with Section 97 (allocation of seats) and 98 (membership of the National Assembly)".

3.11.10. Compliance with Section 98 and 99 of Representation of the People Act, Cap 1:03.
With regards to the allocation of seats in accordance with Section 97 of Cap. 1:03, the Chief Election Officer informs the representatives of the Lists of Candidates to extract from their respective lists, names of candidates selected by them to be members of the National Assembly. The Chief election Officer then declares the names of members of the National Assembly in accordance with Section 98 of Cap. 1;03. The Elections Commission, in accordance with Section 99 of Cap. 1:03, publicly declares the results of the election and publishes it in the Official Gazette in the following categories:- (a) The number of votes cast for each List of Candidates; (b) the number of rejected ballot papers; (c) the number of seats allocated to each list of candidates and (d) the names of the persons who, as a result of the election, have become members of the National Assembly.

 

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