Kenya targets 7M new voters as biometric enrollment begins ahead of 2022 polls
Kenya has kicked off its biometric voter registration process as the country aims to enroll more than seven million new potential voters ahead of general elections in the east African giant next year.
Local media Citizen Digital reports that the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) plans to take the number of registered Kenyans from the 19.6 million at the moment, to 26.9 million by the time the registration closes.
In order to facilitate the exercise, the IEBC has deployed at least three biometric voter registration kits to each of the 1,450 wards, although there are reports of a shortage of the kits.
According to Citizen Digital, the IEBC is targeting at least four million potential voters in the first one month of the biometric registration exercise, and will continue the process in December if it falls short of the set target.
The IECB is also said to be planning to conduct the voter registration process for Kenyans in the diaspora, with new countries including Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa added to the registration plan because they have attained the minimum number of 3,000 potential voters.
Another Kenyan outlet, Capital FM, quoted the IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati as urging all eligible Kenyans to show up for the exercise.
“We urge all eligible Kenyans who have not registered as voters to turn up in large numbers and register… We’re now targeting to register more than 6 million voters; that will mean we will increase our polling stations from 40,833 to 53,000 plus polling station. This means we shall employ more election officials,” Chebukati said.