Mass voter registration exercise gets off to a slow start


The second and last phase of mass national voter registration before the August polls took off to a slow start with low turnouts reported as well as Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits technical hitches in various parts of the country.

On the first day of voter registration in Kisumu Town, Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) clerks were spotted at their stations with their BVR machines but few people turned up to register as voters.

A spot check by Citizen Digital across the lakeside city revealed that most people chose to undergo their normal daily chores as opposed to taking the chance to register as voters for the August General Election.

Local politicians could be seen doing rounds in various parts of the city encouraging people to visit the registration stations.

In Rongo Sub-County, Migori County’s poor Internet connection and unresponsiveness of BVR kits were blamed for the slow start of the exercise.

Prospective voters who turn up for registration complained of queuing for long hours before being served.

Suna East Sub-County IEBC Coordinator George Oganda promised that the small hitches hindering the process would be sorted out and speed of serving people improved.

In Uriri Constituency, locals complained a small number of BVR kits against a large number of people who turned up to register as voters.

Coast senior assistant director of registration of persons, Mr Agrrey Masai, lamented the high number of uncollected IDs at the registration of persons offices across the region saying that the owners of those IDs will not be allowed to register as voters yet their IDs are ready.

Masai said that there are more than 35,000 uncollected IDs in the entire region, with Mombasa County leading with 18,495 uncollected IDs.

Low turn out levels were witnessed in Mombasa town with many people complaining that their elected leaders failed to fulfill their 2013 election pledges.

In Embu County impressive numbers of new applicants were witnessed as most youths were excited to register for the first time as voters.

Manyatta Constituency IEBC coordinator Rosemary Njoki said that there are 29 BVR kits in the constituency distributed across six wards, noting that the exercise is going on smoothly.

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Story By Moses Ngugi
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