IEBC misses out on target as only 2.1m register

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By John Kioria

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is likely to miss out on its target of registering 6 Million voters by the end of the one month long Mass voter registration exercise.

This after the ongoing exercise recorded only 2.16 Million voters ahead of the Tuesday’s deadline.

The hopes of some Kenyans living in the Diaspora to exercise their right to vote has been dashed after IEBC announced that it will only register Kenyans living in 4 countries within East Africa while those living in South Africa have also been added to the bracket.

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Out of the targeted 4 to 6 million new voters, only 2.1 Million Kenyans have turned to register ahead of the February 14th deadline with IEBC Chair Wafula Chebukati expressing concerns over the numbers.

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North Eastern Region takes the lead in registering new voters with 80.57%, followed by Central Kenya at 66.23%, Rift valley comes third with 58.7%, and Eastern Region has 52.16%, followed by Coast and Nairobi.

Nyanza and Western regions continue to fair poorly in latest statistics with 41.5% and 35.7% respectively. To try and shore up the numbers, the commission will from Wednesday begin registering students in various institutions of higher learning across the country.

Prisoners will also be registered from the 23rd of February even though they will only be allowed to vote in the Presidential poll.

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A registered voter caught up in the melee of sharing Identity cards has 10 days to confirm their data or risk deregistration.

And with the cases of shared IDS standing at 21 thousand while those that didn’t match the data with the National Bureau of registration standing at 57,600, IEBC intends to introduce the ID in their system as an addition to finger prints to uniquely identify a voter.

Meanwhile, the hopes of Kenyans residing in countries outside the continent to vote in the August elections have been dashed after IEBC announced that it will only register Kenyan voters in 5 countries.

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South Africa has been added to the list since Kenyans in Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania and Rwanda were also registered in 2013 and will also benefit from the mass voter registration.

Meanwhile, IEBC insists that voter registration in Arabia has resumed after alleged Al shabaab insurgents attacked the registration center and stole three BVR kits.

Earlier, President Uhuru Kenyatta had promised that the Government will continue providing all the necessary support to the IEBC.

While meeting IEBC commissioners at State House Nairobi, the President said all budgetary requirements of the IEBC will be prioritized in the next budget to ensure that the commission succeeds in its mandate to organize a free and fair election.

 

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