NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 11 – The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says there has been a low turnout on the continuous voter listing currently underway after it registered only 202,518 new voters out of the weekly target of 1.5 million since the exercise kicked off seven days ago.
In a statement, the electoral body’s chairman Wafula Chebukati attributed the low turn out to general voter apathy, Insecurity in parts of Lamu, Baringo and Laikipia Counties as well as along the Kenya-Somalia borders.
He explained that in some cases, those aged 18 years and above lacked National Identity Cards and pointed out “The culture of last-minute rush where Kenyans go for exercises when deadlines approach.”
“The Commission shall continue to explore solutions to these identified challenges in collaboration with all stakeholders in the electoral process,” he said.
Chebukati however revealed that Samburu, Elgeyo Marakwet and Wajir recorded the highest turnout during the exercise out of their targeted numbers while Nyandarua, Nyeri and Kiambu had the lowest.
“The target was disaggregated to each County, Constituency and County Assembly Ward to enable monitoring of progress,” the IEBC chairman stated.
He once again stated that a total of 5,206 requests for voter transfer were serviced during the last one week and reminded all registered voters that application for transfer is done at the 290 Constituency offices.
With the number of those registered having been very low given that the commission is targeting to register 6 million new voters, Chebukati stated that the poll body has hired voter mobilizers in the 290 constituencies to create enthusiasm and awareness of the exercise.
“In addition, the Commission has urged the Media to publicize the exercise and is pleased by the media coverage. The Commission takes this opportunity to thank all the Media Houses, both at the national and county level that have supported the exercise through coverage and reporting,” he said.
“We call upon the Media to sustain the publicity to bolster the voter registration efforts. The Commission recognizes that an exercise of this magnitude and huge National interest cannot be successful without participation of stakeholders.”
The electoral body has also urged all Kenyan leaders across the political divide to assist in the mobilization of citizens to register as voters.