Kenyans rush to register biometrics ahead of general election, though malfunctions cause delays

December 20, 2012 - 

Following news that president of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) in Kenya announced biometric voter-registration data will not be shared with law enforcement and will be kept private, thousands of Kenyans have lined up to secure their right to vote just days before the national deadline.

Reported in Africa Review, prospective voters feared being excluded from participating in the country’s upcoming March 4, 2013 general election.

According to to Orange Democratic Movement Secretary-General Anyang’ Nyong’o said the IEBC should compensate Kenyans for time lost when biometric voter kits broke down, delaying the opening of registration centers.

“I am not satisfied at all because the break down of biometric voter registration kits was just phenomenal. Some lasted for as long as two weeks,” Nyong’o said. “There was a lot of suspicion from the start because some centers could not even issue registration slips.”

As reported previously in, at last count, there were only 11 million registered voters in the country, still short of the country’s targeted figure of 18 million.

Delays caused by biometric machines is becoming a recurring theme in African elections. Also reported previously in, in Ghana’s recent presidential election, biometric voter identity verification machines successfully caught many illegal multiple-voters, but machine breakdowns also caused massive delays, causing the intended one-day vote to become a two-day affair.

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About Adam Vrankulj

Adam Vrankulj is an editor for His background consists of online news writing, editing and content marketing. Adam has written for, BlogTO and was the editor and curator for the nextMEDIA and CIX Source publications. He has a degree in journalism and is passionate about science, technology and social innovation. Contact Adam, or follow him at @adamvrankulj