The 2017 presidential election in Kenya was supposed to highlight its modern all-in-one electoral system. Instead, the Supreme Court annulled the election, citing irregularities in the transmission of results.
In light of the events, the Kenyan Electoral Commission terminated its contract with the vendor. A tender was then opened to find a new supplier of the Kenyan Integrated Election Management System that will rectify the flaws of the previously implemented electoral biometrics and deliver trustworthy biometric voter database.
Kenya’s Electoral Commission required the migration of the voters database notwithstanding the restrictions of the legacy license from the previous vendor.
Old and new enrollees needed to be deduplicated, made more complicated by fragmented data collection. Only 4 months was allotted for the completion of the project from HW deployment to voters’ cards printing.
Innovatrics partnered with partner to integrate ABIS 8 with the legacy system, wherein enrollment stations had Innovatrics SDK running on Android. Existing data of around 20 million voters was migrated from legacy system and different exports, while additional ones from from legacy enrollment stations needed to be reverse engineered. Due to time constraints, the migration and deduplication of old and new data were performed separately and completed in less than a month.
Server capacity was thus boosted, requiring additional ABIS installation. Manual adjudication and training were also provided. The scalable architecture allowed for the agile management of hardware capacity.
Apart from new hardware, also new industry-leading electoral ABIS, featuring fingerprints and face modalities, was integrated with existing legacy database and hardware to meet the mandate of Kenya’s Electoral Commission.
Given the extensive legacy database (20M) and time pressure, data had to be imported quickly and correspondingly.
Not only text deduplication and deduplication using mostly fingers was applied, but also, face and double checking the data was also employed.
Reliable Voter Verification for Election Integrity
The agile deployment of Innovatrics biometric technology aided the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) of Kenya to implement a cutting-edge electoral architecture that can deliver transparent and peaceful elections.
New and old enrollees have been deduplicated, giving Kenya a complete and clean national voters’ list.
The Supreme Court of Kenya ascertained that the technology deployed met the constitutional standards on election integrity, verifiability, security and transparency to guarantee accurate and verifiable results.
Although started in January, servers were only accessed in March – putting intense time pressure to complete the project for the August presidential elections. In fact, the final deduplication and adjudication took one month with 50 adjudicators working two shifts.
“The mission commends IEBC for the successful use of the technology in voter registration, voter identification, and the transmission of results.”Head of the East Africa Community Observer Mission in KenyaJakaya Kikwete
With the presidential elections due in August 2022, the Innovatrics team went beyond and above expectations to deliver the project on time. The combination of industry-leading technology and creative problem solving played a crucial part in fulfilling the project within 4 months.
With data flowing in from different sources, the swift and seamless integration of ABIS 8 with the legacy system was a key ingredient in developing a new solution for a streamlined voter verification process.
The time allotment to migrate the old data from the extensive legacy database and from other vendors made this task extra challenging. Within a month, old and new data had to be imported and collected to free up some records so they could fit into the legacy license.