Mass Voter Registration in Kenya to start on Monday
Mass voter registration to be launched in Nakuru county as announced by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The exercise is expected to run for 30 days nationwide. Various political leaders across the country have called on Kenyans who have attained the age of 18 to come out in large numbers and register as voters. Leaders from the Maasai community led by former Kajiado governor David Ketieny and former senator Peter Mositet have urged IEBC to commission to add additional voting centers in Kajiado East and Kajiado north. This is to allow more people participate in the voter registration process.
Some leaders have also urged the IEBC to extend the one month period to allow more Kenyans register as voters. IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati said IEBC is targeting to register 6 million new voters as the country prepares for 2022 general elections in August. He said “We urge all eligible Kenyans who have not registered as voters to turn up in large numbers and register,”. The current registered voters in Kenya is 19,687,885 statistics dated to May 2021.
As part of IEBC operation preparations for election, the commission has said plans are underway to do mass voter registration for the diaspora. This will target countries like Qatar, Canada, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, USA, and South Sudan. These are countries listed recently eligible for the exercise after they met the requirements of 3000 voters. Kenyans in diaspora who participated in 2017 general elections includes those from Tanzania, Burundi, South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda.
The IENC has however recently warned that the delay in budget approval from parliament could slow the process of election preparation which include voter registration. IEBC chairman said the commission is undergoing inadequate funding of Ksh 13 billion as a general election require Ksh 40 billion to conduct a general election. He has however urged the legislatures to approve the budget adjustment so as to undertake the operations as the country prepares for 2022 general elections. According to Chebukati, as of today the commission is underfunded.
With a target of 6 million new voters, this means that the commission will have to increase more polling stations. The law say there shouldn’t be more than 700 voters in a single polling station.