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Kiems kits fail to recognize some elderly voters’ fingerprints

A section of political leaders in Garissa County are calling on the IEBC to urgently resolve technicalities in which the Kiems kit is failing to recognize the fingerprints of the elderly voters.

Speaking after casting his vote at Garissa library polling station, Township MP Aden Duale, who is defending his seat for the fourth time, said that although there are challenges in identifying the elderly, there is no need for alarm because there are complementary mechanisms to resolve.

“There are a number of people whose thumbs are not captured in the Kiems kit but I want to urge the Polling officers to use other means of identifying the voters. Swipe their ID cards so that each and every voter not only in Garissa but in the whole country get to vote for their leaders and choose the next government,” Duale said.

“I have found between 8 and 10 elderly people in almost every polling station with this issue but there is a complementary system so everyone should be patient and wait for the IEBC to sort out the problem,” he added.

Garissa senator Abdul Haji urged the IEBC officials to quickly work on ways to serve the elders so that they can go back to their homes.

“We have been told that though there are challenges with the thumbs, it is still working if they retry a few times. As leaders, we are asking our elders to be as patient as IEBC acts on the issue,” Haji said.

Elderly voters had decried the failure of IEBC Kiems kit to recognize their fingerprints before they could be allowed to vote.

Dubat Amey, an elder who is also disabled said that it is unfortunate that such people who have travelled from different areas would miss out in the voting exercise over fingerprints due to their older age.

“We have been told that if our names are not in the electronic register, we can still use the manual voter register but our fingerprints must be recognized first. We want the IEBC technical teams to handle these problems so that we can be allowed to vote,” Amey said.

“I have seen a few other elderly people like me whose fingerprints are having issues because of our age. I hope this issue will be solved so that no one is denied a chance to vote,” he added.

By Erick Kyalo

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