, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 24 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says 825,145 voters have been registered countrywide in the first seven days of the Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise.
IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said Tuesday the total number of voters recorded in the first week fell below the target of listing 1.4 million voters.
“The total number of applicants the first seven days stands at 825,145 constituting 58 percent of the weekly target of 1.4 million,” he explained.
The data however excluded some areas in five constituencies including Kilifi North, Kilifi South, Ganze, Turkana East and Samburu West due to logistical challenges, according to the commission.
The ravaging drought that had caused displacements in parts of the country, Chebukati explained had contributed to the low number of voter registration.
Another factor he cited as having affected registration in some areas was insecurity especially in Mandera, Pokot and Turkana.
“For instance on 18th January 2017 in a place called Jilomata Centre in Hulugho Ward of Ijara Constituency there was a reported incident of fire exchange between the police on patrol and suspected Al-Shabaab elements, affecting the registration process,” he said.
Following reports of inconsistencies in voter registration, Chebukati said an analysis of the voter register had revealed that there were 128,926 records of shared identification documents (Identity Cards and Passport Numbers).
“This number represents 0.8 percent of the total number of voters in the database,” he asserted.
Shared documents, he explained could have occurred due to errors emanating from entry of data at the time of registration, attempts to use one ID to register more than ones, more than one person using an ID to register as a voter or shared national ID numbers.
“Out of the 128,926 records of shared IDs, the Commission identified 107,777 records that show same ID but different names. A further analysis showed that 53,671 of IDs were shared more than once. The remaining 21,149 are for persons who attempted to register more than once in different polling stations,” Chebukati explained.
He said the commission had contacted the National Registration Bureau (NRB) and had also commissioned its ICT and registration officers to address the challenge of shared documents.
As a requirement by law, the commission will make public the provisional register for members of public to verify their registration details and present complaints should they find their details with errors.
Chebukati also used the opportunity to warn Kenyans against attempts of registering as voters more than once.
He further urged people to register at places of their choice and avoid being caught up in malpractices of voter importation.
Though the numbers fall below IEBC’s target of registering 1.4 million voters per week, Chief Executive Officer Ezra Chiloba said they were ‘within the margins’ but hoped the trend would improve in the remaining three weeks of MVR.
Registration per region in the first seven days:
North Eastern region saw 24,006 people register weekly as voters, falling short of the target of 26,108 giving it a 92 percent voter turnout and the highest of the eight regions.
Central region which registered 139, 876 voters against a target of 160,288 voters was the second to record a high turnout at 87 percent.
In Rift Valley, 169,371 people registered as voters against the expected 282,084 which was a 60 percent turnout.
Coastal Region which had a 58 percent turnout had 95,681 voters registered against a target of 163,811.
Eastern Region had a 57 percent registration turnout after 127,580 voters registered against the target of 223,003.
Nyanza and Nairobi City each had 48 percent registration turnout with the latter recording 95,966 against the expected 199,624 and Nyanza registering 95,945 against 199,308.
Western region recorded the lowest voter registration turnout at 43 percent with 75,193 against the expected 173,143.
The results provided were provisional.
The last phase of MVR kicked off last Monday and will close on February 14 with hopes that IEBC will hit its target of registering between four million to six million voters during the MVR exercise that entered its second week on Monday.