Kenya has gazetted 18 diaspora polling centres where the country will undertake a voter registration exercise starting this week ahead of the August 9, 2022, General Election.
In the diaspora voter registration, which will run from January 21 to February 6, Kenyans living within the East African Community (EAC) that is Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, Rwanda and South Sudan will for the first time use their identity cards as proof of their citizenship to register for the election, instead of passports.
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) chairperson, Wafula Chebukati disclosed in the gazette notice that the second phase of the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration will ensure those in the diaspora are registered.
Mr Chebukati said the commission targets to register an additional 4.5 million eligible voters.
The Commission rolled out Phase I of the Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (ECVR) exercise from October 4- November 5, 2021, where 1,519,294 eligible Kenyans were registered as new voters out of the targeted 6 million.
“The right of Kenyans to register as citizens residing out of the country will be based on the presence of a Kenyan embassy, high commission, or consulate and this is in accordance with regulation 34(2) of the registration of voters regulation 2012,” said the chairperson.
Once the registration is done, an audit of the voter register will be done after which inspection and verification of the register will be done.
On audit of register of voters, the chairman said Section 8A of the Elections Act 2011, requires the Commission to engage a professional reputable firm to conduct an audit of the Register of Voters at least six (6) months before the date of a General Election, for the purpose of verifying the accuracy of the register, recommending mechanisms of enhancing the accuracy of the register, and updating the register.
The IEBC also gazetted Mr Abdidahir Maalim Abdi as the registration officer to oversee the diaspora registration and Mr William Tumaini Kahindi as his deputy.
The election commission has assured Kenyans that it is on course with preparations for the August 9 polls.