, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – The Interim Independent Electoral Commission (IIEC) has asked Attorney General Amos Wako to hold publication of the Draft Constitution until the last week of the 30-day period.
Chairman Issack Hassan said on Tuesday that this would allow the IIEC to carry out the registration of voters comprehensively.
“Under the Constitution of Kenya once the Attorney General publishes the Draft Constitution, we will have 90-days to conduct the referendum,” he said. “Under the Review Act, it says 60-days but in the Constitution, it says 90-days and we are saying that we want the 90-days so that we are able to prepare ourselves.”
He was speaking during a forum with media organisations where he pointed out that the electronic voter registration differed from voting electronically.
“There is a big difference between electronic voter registration and electronic voting. What we are doing is the pilot of electronic voter registration in 18 different constituencies,” he explained.
“We capture your bio-data, your photograph and your thumb print in addition to your name and ID card.”
Mr Hassan said that many people had turned up at the start of electronic registration and urged those eligible to participate in the exercise.
He stated that the electronic voter registration process had checks and balances to minimise double registration.
“The electronic voter registration system is part of the reforms we are trying to bring in to curb the register from being full of either double registered voters or dead voters,” he said.
“It is a new system which we have introduced which is going to capture the biometrics of the voter, the photograph, the fingerprints in addition to other details like the name and identity card,” he added.
He called on everyone to ensure that they had a valid ID card to facilitate easy passage through the process.
“The law says that before one is registered, he needs to have an ID card or passport. We are liaising with the Immigration Ministry and they assured us that they will begin issuing the ID cards,” he explained.
Nearly four million people have already registered themselves as voters. Mr Hassan said that many more are still trickling into registration centres and expressed optimism that the 10 million voter target would be hit.
He stressed that the Commission was doing all it can to sensitise the public about the need to register.
“We are trying to find ways of sensitising people on the need for them to register themselves using NGOs, civil societies and even the media,” he said.
He urged those eligible to go to register to visit the nearest polling centre since there would be an opportunity to change constituencies ahead of the 2012 general election.
“If you cannot go to your (constituency) registration centre maybe because of your kind of work or maybe because you are far, you can go to the nearest polling station in your area (of residence) so as to be registered,” he stated.