The Star (Nairobi)

24 November 2012

Kenya: IEBC Blamed for Low Registration Turnout in Kakamega County

Photo: The Star
Ballot box being emptied.

OFFICIALS of political parties in Kakamega county have blamed the slow pace of voter registration on poor voter education by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC).

County ODM chairman David Malala and his United Democratic Forum organizing secretary Isaac Otiende said that a large number of voters would be disadvantaged due to lack of information on voter registration.

Malala said that this was the reason for the low voter turn out since the exercise started on Monday. He said that IEBC should have provided this information in advance before the registration process begun.

He also said that voter education was affected due to low involvement of chiefs and their assistants who normally play a key role in this exercise. He said this was due to their current job insecurity.

"We have also gone round and established that voters, especially the elderly, are reluctant to register and instead argue that they already have voters' cards and see no need to register again," Malala said.

Otiende said that the shortage of the Biometric Voter Register kits has complicated the scenario further. He said that voters do not know where the kits are located hence give up when they go to polling stations and do not find registration clerks.

"If the exercise is to succeed, the commission should instead instruct its clerks to move from house to house or village to village instead of remaining stationed at centers waiting for voters ," he said.

He expressed concerns that the commission may not be able to achieve its target of registering 18 million Kenyans as voters by the end of the thirty day period.

He also said that politicians may be plotting to use the sluggish of voter registration as an excuse to have the March 4th election date moved.

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