The Independent Electoral Commission (IEBC) has committed to registering 4,228 new voters during the ongoing Annual Voter Education Week (AVEW) exercise in Kilifi County.
Addressing the media during the launch of the AVEW at the Kilifi IEBC offices, the County Electoral Manager Abdul Wahid Hussein said they are committed to educating and engaging the residents on the electoral process.
“We want these services to come closer to the people. We want them to ask pertinent questions, for instance, those who want to change their voter registration status, those who want to register like young people who have just gotten their IDs, these are the people we want to bring on board,” he said.
According to Hussein, Kilifi County voter registration turnout has been low despite being the biggest county in the Coast region with Malindi Sub-county having the lowest voter registration turnout of 687 out of the targeted 2616.
“Kilifi County is the biggest in the Coastal region but unfortunately most of our people have not yet participated. We only have about half a million in terms of voter registration. We have registered about 11,000 since 2017. The potential is there but there are so many places where people are not registered,” he added.
Speaking to the media during the launch, Kilifi County Deputy Governor Gideon Saburi urged the county residents to participate actively and make wise choices in the coming 2022 elections.
“We want to ensure that people understand what it means to vote. It is important that awareness is created among the people so that they understand that voting is their right. It is a five-year thing that can’t be taken back. Therefore, if you make bad choices, it will last for 5 years and if you make good choices the same applies,” said Saburi.
At the same time, Hussein said that about 4.5 million Kenyans have been issued with new National Identification since 2017.
“That is an indicator of how many people need to be brought on board in terms of registration. Out of the 4.5 million. I know that so many people do not have IDs so if we can get that, I believe Kilifi should be able to register even a million extra people,” he said.
Meanwhile, out of the 11,000 registered voters in Kilifi county this year, 95% are youths.