IEBC misses Day One voter registration target by a huge margin

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says that Huduma Centers are serving as voter registration centers.

IEBC Chief Executive Officer, Ezra Chiloba, said that the Huduma Centers at the county level will start offering voter registration service.

Addressing the press at the IEBC headquarters in Nairobi on Wednesday, January 18, Chiloba, however, said that holders of waiting cards will not be allowed to register as voters as it is not an official identification document.

While citing the risk of abuse in the use of a waiting card for purposes of registration, Chiloba noted that the provision was also removed following amendments of Section 5 of the Elections Act, a change he says was guided by the lack of a registration number in the waiting card.

Speaking on Day 3 of the month-long voter registration drive, Chiloba revealed that an average of 2,000 voters were registered on the first day further calling for patience as the commission complies the numbers for their weekly updates to the country  as earlier promised.

The IEBC boss dismissed registration figures circulating on social media as illegitimate saying that the commission will communicate the official numbers every week.

Chiloba was, however, keen to note that this number was only recorded in 43 out of 47 counties following logistical challenges in Tana River, Lamu, Laikipia and Turkana Counties.

“We deployed 7,793 kits and only 68 kits failed on Day 1. That’s less than 1%,” said Chiloba.

The electoral boss has urged Kenyans to turn up in large numbers and register as voters with only 82,000 registered on the first day out of a 200,000 set target.

“We do not foresee any extension, if you do not register during this period you may be excluded during the voting.”

With a 6.1 million set target, the commission expressed optimism that the numbers would go up further indicating that there are 1,450 wards with 26,400 registration centers currently in operation.

Those willing to change their polling station will be required to visit IEBC offices in the constituency they would wish to vote.

“For transfers, you make that application at the constituency offices of the constituency where you want to vote,” said Chiloba.

The commission further announced that the voter verification exercise commences in May for 30 days and will include biometric data verification after which the register will be subjected to public scrutiny.

“Preparing the register is a legal process, we need to gather data and after the exercise we will process it through matching and de-duplication to ensure people do not appear twice.”

While urging all Kenyans to be involved in the audit of the voter register, the commission pledged to avail the biometric kits for verification.

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Story By Wangui Ngechu
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