Mass Voter Registration Drive Kicks Off in Kenya
It’s a hot day here on the sidewalk outside Nairobi’s St. Peter Clavers primary school, but the 20 or so people standing in line behind a small desk don’t seem to mind.
They are here to register to vote in Kenya’s August elections.
“It’s our right to vote for the next president and our MPs and all of that,” said 31-year-old laborer and first time voter Samuel Njoroge.
This is the first day of the final mass voter registration drive being conducted by Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. The other took place around this same time last year.
The current drive will end in one month’s time. And so far, IEBC communication manager Andrew Limo says things seem to be going well.
“Yeah, I think the reports we’re getting in are encouraging,” said Limo. “Of course, [as] for any other exercise, there will be problems on the first day, in terms of deployment, some people may not have arrived at their centers in good time, and so they may have opened late. And things like that. But these are not major problems.”
The IEBC has faced its share of challenges in the past. Protests organized by Kenya’s political opposition in mid-2016 resulted in the entire electoral commission being replaced. More recently, President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an amendment to the election law allowing for manual voting and counting should the electronic system fail.READ MORE