Mass Voter Registration kicks off in Kenya Monday

NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 3-The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) is scheduled to launch a 30-day nationwide voter registration in Nakuru County.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the commission is targeting to enlist at least 6 million new voters as the country prepares for the August 2022 General Election.

“We urge all eligible Kenyans who have not registered as voters to turn up in large numbers and register,” Chebukati said.

Kenya currently has 19,687,885, as of May 2021, according to figures provided by the commission.

Top politicians have lately gone on a frenzy, urging more people, particularly the youth to turn up and register as voters.

As part of preparations for the election, IEBC said it plans to undertake a nationwide mass voter registration for the diaspora.

The exercise is mainly targeted at South Sudan, USA, United Kingdom, Canada, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are the newly listed countries after meeting the minimum requirement of 3,000 voters.

Kenyans in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa took part in the 2017 General election.

The poll body has however, warned that delay in budgetary support may interfere with the progress of the Pre-Election Cycle which include the voter registration exercise.

Last month, Chebukati warned that insufficient funding could scuttle critical preparatory activities ahead of the election.

IEBC said it was facing financial constraints in undertaking key operations to facilitate a tamper proof poll.

During an engagement forum with Faith Based Organizations in Nairobi, Chebukati indicated the Treasury had only availed Sh26.4 billion leaving the agency with a Sh14.6 billion deficit to attain a fully funded budget of Sh40.9 billion.

“As a commission we are being exposed to the risk to under-funding,” he said.

The commission attributed the estimated budget to a legislative framework governing the electoral process which results in expensive elections.

Requirements under the framework include the capping of maximum registered voters per polling station.

“The law says that you cannot have more than 700 voters in a polling station. We’re now targeting to register more than 6 million voters that will mean we will increase our polling stations from 40,833 to 53,000 plus polling station. This means we shall employ more election officials,” Chebukati said.

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