The Presiding Officer is one of the election officials in Kenya. The major role of a Presiding Officer in Kenya is to manage and oversee all aspects of the poll in the polling station that they are responsible.
The Presiding Officer is answerable to the Returning Officer in the performance of their work.
The Presiding Officer is responsible for the conduct in the polling station. Therefore, they must have an understanding of the voting procedures. The Presiding Officer also oversees the Polling Clerks.
The role of a Presiding Officer in Kenya includes being the overall in charge of a polling station and-
- controls the admission into the polling station;
- assists voters who require assistance;
- controls the flow of voters in the polling stations;
- supervises polling officials;
- ensures the security of election materials;
- administers the oath of secrecy to voter assistants;
- briefs the agents on their roles and responsibilities at the polling station before polling starts;
- provide information on the number of registered voters and voter turnout at the polling station;
- regularly updates the Returning Officer on the voter turnout and any other emergencies;
- counts and tallies votes cast;
- announces election results in a designated polling station;
- signs the official results declaration forms in a polling station;
- transmit result electronically to the national and constituency tallying centres;
- hands over the official results to the Returning Officer at the constituency tallying centre;
- performs any other duties assigned by the Returning Officer.
The duties of a Deputy Presiding Officer in kenya extend from those of a Presiding Officer.
The role of the Deputy Presiding Officer in Kenya is as follows-
- deputises the Presiding Officer;
- performs the duties assigned to them by the Presiding Officer;
- ensures safe retrieval of election materials.
The qualifications for a Presiding Officer in Kenya and the Deputy Presiding Officer include the following–
- be a Kenyan citizen of high integrity, and non-partisan;
- be the holders of Degree or Diploma certificate from a recognised institution;
- be computer literate;
- have effective communication;
- have good report writing skills;
- can manage people, sensitive data and materials;
- have skills in data computation;
- must be available for the entire period of the General Election;
- must be residents in the constituency and Ward for which they apply.
Read also about the types of elections in Kenya.