Kenya: Delivering Credible Elections Using Biometric Data

Seeking to avoid the unrest of previous elections, in 2013 the Kenyan government sought Safran’s help to ensure a transparent and democratic process. In a time-critical project, Safran supplied over 15,000 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and associated services to create a reliable and secure voter register. This enabled some 14.3 million Kenyans to be registered in only 30 days, facilitating a peaceful and universally accepted election.
 

Central to government reforms was an electoral register made secure and irrefutable via biometrics. Such a register, it was believed, would regain the trust of the Kenyan people. The Kenyan Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), working with the Canadian government, chose Safran because of the company's experience in BVR and its ability meet the non-negotiable five-month deadline.

"The contract started in October and electoral registers had to be ready for certification before the end of February." recalls Fabien Rouaud, Program Director at Safran "Every second counted to fulfill the three parts of the contract: provide BVR kits and the system for gathering and consolidating both regional and national data, install the AFIS and electoral register generation module and, lastly, perform implementation, maintenance and support services."

Employees at Safran's efficient production facilities worked around the clock to reach an output of 1,200 BVR kits per day, delivering more than 15,000 kits in only 5 weeks - ahead of the contract deadline.

 

A central site was established in Nairobi equipped with an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) and capacity for the biometric records of 20 million voters. Then Safran trained over 2,000 IEBC trainers, who in turn trained 30,000 kit operators and clerks.

On November 19, voter registration opened simultaneously at 20,000 stations across Kenya for a 30-day period. Subsequently, over 14.3 million Kenyans had been registered - a great achievement for IEBC and Safran. With the biometric data then transferred to the Nairobi center, hundreds of thousands of corrections and ‘deduplications' were made on the national database before generating the definitive register.

The use of BVR ensured a fraud-free voter register that contained 4 million new unique voters and removed 2 million invalid voters that had plagued previous registers. Safran's secure, robust BVR technology and ability to respond to extremely tight deadlines helped deliver a free, fair and credible election process.

Over
15,000
Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits delivered
14.3
million
Kenyans registered in 30 days