November 7, 2012 -
Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will delay its scheduled biometric enrolment of voters.
Originally, the commission intended to start biometric enrolment of voters next week. Instead, the training of 30,000 registration clerks is now slated to begin November 12.
According to reports, the Commission is experiencing problems rolling out the new biometric voter registration system due to logistical issues that range from the assembly and distribution of kits, to the time constraints involved with registering all Kenyan voters. As recently reported by BiometricUpdate.com, the country received its first batch of biometric voter registration kits last week.
The Commission is mandated to register 18 million voters within a stipulated period of 30 days, along with verifying the new voter registry, conducting voter education, as well as the general election itself on March 4.
With this delay, many observers have expressed doubts that the election will be able to be held on time. Many people in Kenya are worried because often elections are associated with a tremendous amount of sectarianism between different tribes and violence. The Commission however has said that it is committed to a process that will be fair, peaceful and orderly.
“All clerks must be familiar with the biometric voter registration technology. We have to spend adequate time to train the clerks. The date when the voter registration exercise begins will be announced in the future by the commission chairman,” said Immaculate Kassait, Director of Voter Registration at the Commission.