August 24, 2019

7 security features in Presidential ballot paper

Printing of Presidential ballot papers was a thorny issue that almost threw the whole election process into jeopardy.

Opposition challenged printing of the papers by Dubai based printing firm awarded sh2.5 billion tender by IEBC to print the ballot papers.

However, scores of Kenyans are not alive to the fact that though it is just a ballot paper, it contains high-security features meticulously put together to uphold the sanctity of an election.

Al Ghurair’s Printing and Publishing LLC General Manager Lakshmanan Ganapathy takes us through the journey of printing Kenya’s electoral ballot papers amid a political storm.

Speaking to Daily Nation, Mr. Ganapathy who is head of Al Ghurair Group of Companies said their establishment is currently valued at $22 billion.

He says even with chiding political talks from the opposition, “a group like us would not venture into anything illegal, immoral or unethical for small money.”

He notes that printing Kenya’s electoral papers is their 86th project after their pact with United Nations Development Programme in 2012.

Security features

1.Al Ghurair procured 1, 200 tonnes of special security ballot paper. The paper does not reflect ultraviolet light which increases visibility of security features ingrained on it, unlike the usual bond papers which can be photocopied and is the most common.

The special security paper has random ultraviolet fibers mixed with wood pulp which makes it hard to even procure. Ganapathy says it takes between one to two months to get the special security paper.

  1. It has a watermark embedded on it during its manufacture.
  2. Anti-copy pattern. If the copy of the ballot paper is made, its duplicate has lines printed across the surface making it easy for one to discern it is not the original paper.
  3. The ballot paper has an invisible IEBC logo that can only be seen in ultraviolet light.
  4. Borderlines on the ballot paper can only be read using a lens as they are in very small font.
  5. The ballot papers have Guilloche pattern which is a decorative technique employing the repetitive use of pattern, complexity and is used in the printing of currency notes.
  6. Names and images of candidates have IEBC logo embossed on them and have serial numbers which start from the left and become bigger.