This article focuses on the roles of a Presiding Officer in Kenya. Presiding officers are election officials hired by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to oversee elections in a polling station.
Presiding Officers are answerable to a Returning Officer based at the constituency level.
Roles of a Presiding Officer in Kenya
- Ensure good conduct of elections in the polling station or tallying centre as assigned by the Returning Officer.
- Counting, tallying and announcement of provisional results at the polling station and delivering the same to the Returning Officer.
- Manage and oversee all aspects of the poll in the polling station that he/she is responsible.
- Collect and ensure security of all election materials at the polling station.
- Responsible for the conduct of elections in the polling station.
- Oversee efficient and effective management of elections before, during and after the elections.
- Ensure safe custody of all entrusted documents, handover of all election materials and equipment to the Returning Officer after the elections.
- Assist in training of polling/ counting clerks.
- Perform any other duties that may be assigned by the Returning Officer.
Qualifications for a Presiding Officer in Kenya
- Be a Kenyan citizen of high integrity and be non-partisan.
- Be a holder of Degree/Diploma from a recognised institution in Kenya.
- Be computer literate.
- Have effective communication and good report writing skills.
- Have skills in data computation.
- Ability to manage people, sensitive data and materials.
- Ability to work for long hours with minimal supervision.
- Be of high level of integrity and ability to abide with the codes of conduct of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
- Must be of good character with no political affiliation or affiliation with any political party or candidate contesting for any elective seat.
- Must be available for the entire period of the by-election.
- Must be a resident of the constituency or ward which the election is taking place.