A Very Secret Ballot: A Case Study on the Electoral Process in Kenya

A Very Secret Ballot: A Case Study on the Electoral Process in Kenya

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This essay was published in The Sur International Journal of Human Rights, Issue 27, July 2018.

Abstract:

This essay focuses on elections in Kenya and analyses the use of technology and the exploitation of personal data in both the electoral process and campaigning. We only need to look to Kenya’s election history to understand why it is important. The 2007/2008 election resulted in violence that killed over 1,000 people and displaced over 600,000. The 2013 election was relatively peaceful, but marked the rise of online “hate speech” that exploited ethnic tensions. The 2017 election result was annulled and rerun amidst great tension and a death toll of at least 33 people, while targeted online political adverts played on national fears of further violence. The essay concludes with an outline of the expected minimum protections and safeguards, which can be applied globally.

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