The Star (Nairobi)

4 December 2012

Kenya: Abdulswamad, Cidi Call for Voter Poll Education

Pupils at Ng'ombeni Primary School admires an IEBC official as he conducted his exercises, low turnouts was experienced due to insecurity and other reasons .photo Elkana Jacob

COAST politicians have raised a red flag over the low turnout at voter listing stations calling on 'an emergency voter education campaign in the region' even as the deadline set by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission nears.

Mombasa senator seat hopeful Hassan Mwakimako and his Kilifi counterpart Naomie Cidy, Mvita and Rabai parliamentary hopefuls Abdulswamad Sharrif Nassir and Nelson Dzuya are worried that the set target for the region might not be realised.

"I am not blaming the IEBC but it is apparent that voter education did not go far because old men and women in most areas of the Coast see no need to list afresh as voters saying they already have the voter's card. This clearly shows that they lack awareness about the ongoing exercise," said Abdulswamad.

The leaders warned the residents against waiting until the last minute to register saying they may end up getting locked out of the voting exercise.

"Those who are aware of the ongoing exercise but are waiting for the last minute to rush and register are doing so at their own peril. The election schedule is very tight and it might not allow for an extension of the exercise so they had better act fast," Mwakimako said.

The leaders also pointed out that some areas did not have enough BVR kits which further slowed down the process. "We are worried that many potential voters will be left out following the sharing of BVR kits in multiple centers. We urge IEBC to ensure that there are as many kits as possible so as to increase the number of people registered per day," they said.

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