IEBC opens registration in Canada, UAE as deadline approaches

A voter registers during IEBC mass voter registration at Moi Avenue Primary School, Nairobi. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission has begun enhanced continuous voter registration exercise in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Canada.

The Commission, in a statement yesterday said the exercise, officially starting today, February 1, will take place in UAE at the Kenya Embassy in Abu Dhabi and Kenya consulate in Dubai, while in Canada, the exercise will take place at the Kenya High Commission in Ottawa, and consulates in Toronto and Vancouver.

The exercise, now in its last week will be extended in the two countries, “to ensure Kenyan citizens are accorded 15 days to register as voters,” the commission Chair Wafula Chebukati said.

So far, IEBC has enrolled some1,054 new voters from Diaspora countries, in the second phase of the voter registration exercise.

Only four days remain for eligible Kenyans in the diaspora to register. The exercise will close on February 4, 2022.

“IEBC urges eligible diaspora voters in USA, Germany, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi & South Sudan to come out and register,” Chebukati appealed.

Countrywide, the electoral commission said it has registered 548,188 new voters out of a target of 2.9 million voters. 

The second phase of registration began on January 17, after IEBC failed to reach the six million target during the first phase of the exercise last year.

The commission was however hoping to hit the 4.5 million target in the second phase, which it has still fallen short of.

The agency rolled out phase one of the exercise from October 4 to November 5 last year, where 1.52 million eligible Kenyans registered as new voters.

Apathy and lack of national identity (ID) cards, especially among the youths and poor civic education were blamed for the low turnout.