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Kwale residents urged to turn up for continuous voter registration

Residents of Kwale County have been urged to turn out for the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as the Independent Electoral and Boundary Commission (IEBC) prepares for the 2022 general election.

IEBC contends that CVR is an exercise meant for the registration of citizens who turned 18 years of age after the last registration exercise or those who for one reason or another could not register in the previous exercises.

Kwale County IEBC Election Manager Nelly Ilongo said the Commission has registered only 2,110 new voters from a target of 8,000 since the 2017 general election.

She noted the nationwide CVR exercise provides an opportunity to register eligible voters especially the youth and special interest groups, allow transfers from one electoral area to preferred electoral areas and correct any errors.

“We have only registered 27% of our target. It seems that people have not taken this exercise seriously, yet we only have one year remaining until the general election,” she noted.

However, the County Election Manager noted that the Commission has put in place various measures to reach all unregistered residents by December 2021.

“We are going to put up a voter registration desk in every market so that residents can easily get access to this crucial service,” she said.

Ilongo cautioned residents against a last-minute rush saying they risked being locked out of the election next year.

“People should take advantage of this opportunity of continuous voter registration exercise and get a chance to decide on the leadership of this county and country,” she said.

Moreover, Ilongo noted that the Commission has begun voters’ education programs across the county.

She said in the voter education campaign, more effort would be directed to the youth who were usually targeted by unscrupulous politicians to cause mayhem during elections.

“The only way to ensure our elections are peaceful is to educate our citizens and that people know their responsibilities in the election cycle,” she said.

The Manager noted that the Commission has finalized plans to conduct boundary review as required by law.

She noted that the county was among the seven counties nationally where the Commission conducted a pilot study of the exercise in April 2021.

“We are expecting delegates from the headquarters by next week to chart the way forward for the exercise,” she noted.

At the same time, Ilongo called upon journalists to be ethical as they report on matters on elections adding that peddlers of false information shall be held responsible.

”I urge journalists to do their work professionally. They should give the public reports which are accurate,” she quipped.

By Raymond Zaka and Hussein Abdullahi

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