Deficiencies in Electoral Security: Outcomes of the 2007 and 2013 Kenyan Elections
McKenna, Matthew A.
MetadataShow full item record
CitationMcKenna, Matthew A. 2019. Deficiencies in Electoral Security: Outcomes of the 2007 and 2013 Kenyan Elections. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractTechnology has forever changed the way we communicate. Whether it be sending an SMS text message to a friend, transmitting an email to a business associate or casting a vote for a presidential election. Technology has become a conduit in communicating our actions, our choices, and our intentions. In the context of a presidential election, technology is responsible for producing critical political outcomes. The 2007 election violence in Kenya is a firsthand example where a lack of technology security produced an unnecessary chain of events responsible for scaring the heart of Kenyan’s for decades to come. A thorough investigation into the electoral machines during the 2007 elections reveals a catastrophic oversight by not having a proper security posture in place to govern and authenticate results. Further, a thoughtful examination of the political environment is richly explored including how ethnic grouping and voting polls contributed to historical violence and massive death tolls, including the displacement of tens of thousands of people during this election period.
Considerable investigation into the background of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is provided to gain further insight and traction on what key aspects of securing the machines were overlooked whether by intention or non-intentional conduct. Additional analysis and research provide evidence that the lack of technology security including authentication practices to validate a single voter were neglected by the Electronic Vote Transmission (EVT) systems employed. Furthermore, analysis is provided on the published findings report of The Kriegler commission which was formed to investigate the 2007 electoral operations including the irregularities leading to the election outcome itself.
In contrast, the 2013 election is analyzed in parallel to reflect a positive direction taken by the Kenyan government. Including reforms to its constitution and the use and implementation of technology security for electoral voting machines to reduce fraud. As a result, the 2013 elections contained an omnipresent message of peace which formed the underline spirit of the election period and a diametrically opposite outcome of 2007 election. This improved state will attest to the overall acknowledgement and maturity of measures taken by Kenya to increase its awareness and effectiveness on establishing a security posture for critical technologies beginning with its electoral machines.
In the conclusion of my research, the importance of securing technology gains traction by exploring the before and after scenarios of both elections.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37365083