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IEBC IT Experts: How Form 34As Switched from JPEG to PDF

Public exhibition of presidential results at the national tallying centre.
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The information technology (IT) expert commissioned by Azimio La Umoja-One Kenya Alliance to evaluate the electoral technology deployed by the political entity voiced alarm about the change in the file format of Form 34As when they were uploaded from the polling stations.

Aditionally, one of the key petitioners in the presidential election suit, persisted that, the originality of the forms 34A’s formats was deliberatly compromised.

East Africa Data Handlers (EADH) representative George Njoroge stated that though forms were initially uploaded to the KIEMS kit in JPEG format, they eventually appear on the public portal in PDF.

Polling Station agents and IEBC Officials confirming the Form 34As and 34Bs before transmitted to the IEBC Portal. [Photo: IEBC. Source: Facebook.]
polling station agents and IEBC officials confirming the Form 34As and 34Bs before transmitting them to the IEBC portal. [Photo: IEBC. Source: Facebook.]

He asserted that the original content contained in the forms might have been changed as a result of the forms’ changing format during transmission.

Njoroge came to the conclusion that by altering the file format, the contents of the forms had also been altered.

“The original forms were taken as pictures at the polling centers, creating a JPEG file. They were then transmitted to the IEBC portal.”

“The file format available in the portal is PDF.” “At what point did we change the file from JPEG to a PDF?”

“It means that at one point, the file was changed,” he said.

According to an expert attached to the elections management body, the KIEMS kits have the ability to immediately alter the format of the forms at the time of upload, before they are sent to the servers and subsequently displayed on the public portal.

During the scrutny of the IEBC servers as per the Supreme Court oders, the administrator to the Commission database, Martin Nyaga claimed that the KIEMS kits came with a program that can scan forms to PDF rather than the more common JPEG format, which Azimio believes belongs on the public portal.

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“KIEMS Kit scans the Form 34A into PDF, which is then transmitted to a storage server. At the storage server, the form is processed by an application to check for compliance with certain security features.”

“If the PDF file has all the features, it is published on the public portal; otherwise, it is dropped,” said Nyaga in the report addressed to the Supreme Court after a scrutiny of the IEBC database.

Azimio requested the Supreme Court to perform an audit of the IEBC servers since they believe that unauthorized third parties infiltrated  them.

However, their plea fall on a deaf ear after the Supreme Court refused to mandate the IEBC to open its servers, despite evidence that the commission tampered with the system.

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