, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – The much awaited registration of voters will now begin on November 19.
The chairman of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Issack Hassan says the Biometric Voter Registration will strictly run for 30 days.
The commission expects to register between 18 and 22 million voters.
“The commencement of voter registration which was due to start today (November 12) was postponed due to the delay in delivery of part of the kits and in the start of the training exercise. However, the commission has this morning resolved, after hearing a full briefing by the secretary on behalf of the secretariat and the management, voter registration will commence on the November 19, 2012.”
It’s understood that the inspection of the voters’ register will take place simultaneously due to the limited time ahead of the March 4, 2013 general election.
the IEBC chairman spoke during the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kit orientation held at the Kenyatta International Conference Centre for electoral stakeholders. The induction was carried out simultaneously in the eight provincial headquarters.
Hassan said a list of voters’ registration centres will be made public before the end of the week.
“There are 25,000 voter registration centres across the country. The commission will gazette these centres in a few days. In fact, by this week before the voter registration exercise can commence. The registration centres will also be published in all the major dailies in the country and also on the commission’s website.”
Given the 15,000 BVR kits are fewer than the centres, the IEBC Chief Executive Officer James Oswago said: “Some kits will go round three or four centres in a ward.”
Oswago expressed concern over the hundreds of thousands of uncollected identification cards that are needed to register.
He however commended the government for waiving fees associated with obtaining an identification card.
Voters can register at any centre but will have to cast their votes at the poll centre they specified during the registration process.
Contrary to popular opinion, voters will receive an acknowledgment slip and not a voter’s card following registration.
The final level of training of 29,000 of 30,000 BVR clerks also commenced on Monday after the kits were distributed to all the constituencies.
Hassan sought to allay fears over security during the registration process saying they had spoken to community elders and other influential persons in the communities they were entering to maintain peace.
Oswago said they expect the heaviest traffic over the weekends given: “We’ve urged employers to let people register but we know from past experience, they might not give enough time.”
The Director of Information Communication Technology, Dismas Ong’ondi, assured the kits would not run out of power during this time.
“Each kit has got two batteries that can go for six hours each without recharging.”
The kits, Ong’ondi said, can detect fake or dead finger prints and asked the public to clean their fingers prior to registration as dirt could make them unreadable.