Last chance for voters to register, change details as listing kicks off
| Jan 18th 2022 | 3 min read
The electoral agency has deployed more voter registration kits to colleges as part of its new strategy to net the targeted 4.5 million eligible voters.
A good number of the targeted voters are college students and are currently in session away from the preferred polling stations.
Yesterday, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) rolled out the second and last phase of enhanced voter registration ahead of the August 9 General Election.
The exercise that will run until February 6 comes after last year’s month-long enlisting only managed 1.5 million new voters out of the targeted six million.
In a statement, IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said the voter registration will run in all the County Assembly Wards, institutions of higher learning and Huduma Centres countrywide.
“The ECVR Phase II offers the last opportunity to eligible Kenyans to register as voters, transfer to another registration centre or change particulars of registration,” said Chebukati.
Commissioner Abdi Guliye blamed the low turnout in the first phase of the exercise to voter apathy, challenges in national identity card issuance and insecurity in certain parts of the country.
“In this phase, we are enhancing the number of kits deployed to colleges and universities, targeting counties in pastoral areas and deploying more kits in the prisons to try and capture more voters,” said Prof Guliye.
The commission also announced roll out of Diaspora voter registration in twelve countries for citizens residing outside Kenya.
The Diaspora enlisting will run for 15 days starting January 21.
In addition to Kenyans in Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa, who participated in 2017 presidential election, IEBC will extend enlisting to the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, South Sudan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Germany.
The Diaspora registration will be conducted at the Kenyan Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates in respective countries.
A spot check by The Standard revealed low turnout on the first day of the second mass voter registration in most parts of the country.
Some voter registration clerks stayed for hours without making any entries as politicians joined the drive to ramp up the numbers.
Reports from Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi and Taita Taveta counties indicated that the exercise took off on a low key.
Taita Taveta IEBC county elections manager Swalhah Ibrahim Yusuf said they were targeting to register a total of 35,992 voters.
“As the days go by, the registration will pick up. We will hit the target at the end of the exercise,” she said.
Officials from the Interior and National Coordination Ministry and politicians have joined the campaign to sensitise the local residents to register as voters.
Wundanyi Location Chief Constance Ndighila said they were working with IEBC officials to register those coming to collect their identity cards at their offices.
“We are also encouraging the youths to register in large numbers. Those coming to our offices to collect their ID cards are being registered as voters,” said the administrator.
Taita Taveta Women Representatives Lydia Haika, Senator Jones Mwaruma, Wundanyi MP Danson Mwashako and MCAs Stephen Mcharo, Justine Mwamba and Joan Akinyi joined the electoral agency officials in urging the locals to register as voters.
In Kakamega, Busia, Vihiga and Bungoma, heavy downpour almost derailed the process.
County Election Manager Grace Rono said IEBC will ensure registration kits are deployed in all wards across the 12 sub-counties.
“We are reaching out to the heads of various learning institutions to ask learners who have attained 18 years and above to come with their identification cards so that we can register them voters,” said Rono.
Kakamega Woman Representative Elsie Muhanda urged leaders to help register locals, particularly persons with disabilities and the elderly.
“We are working with all stakeholders including chiefs to sensitise residents,” she said.
In Kiagu Ward in Meru, residents will get additional time to register as voters so as to make up for the lost opportunity because of the recent by-election in the area.
IEBC Meru Manager Gichichi Macharia said the agency targets to register 151,667 new voters, to add onto the 47,855 they got in the first phase of the exercise.
“We have three BVR kits in every ward and a BVR kit at the nine sub-county headquarters,” Macharia said.
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