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Lack of IDs denies many right to vote

By Lucy Njogu | February 17th 2017

As the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission closes the registration of voters, many Kenyans will be locked out due to lack of national identification cards.

Over the years, endless complaints concerning delays in acquiring ID cards have been raised but to date no change is evident.

This is a major drawback that has seen IEBC fail to achieve its voter registration target despite an extension of the registration period.

However, as some cards have not been issued, many more are awaiting collection at various Huduma centres, raising questions about whether the owners are unaware of their existence or are simply ignorant of their constitutional rights.

A significant number of Kenyans, particularly youths, have expressed their disinterest in getting ID cards or even registering as voters. Many say they have lost confidence in Kenya's leadership and do not believe voting will result in changed lives for them.

This has highlighted the need for civic education around the importance of participating in the elections. The fact that this education has been lacking has resulted in low voter registration, especially in the less developed counties.

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