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Low turnout mars renewed voter registration drive

Low turnout characterized the fresh voter registration exercise as the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) targets the 4.5 million new voters during the 21 days’ exercise.

In Kakamega, the County Election Manager Grace Rono says the electoral body targets to register at least 225,199 new voters after it managed to enlist only 57,816 during the first phase of the exercise.

Speaking to the media outside her office in Kakamega town while accompanied by the Kakamega Women Representative Elsie Muhanda said the commission only captured 34 % of the new voters and managed to transfer some 17,819 voters.

And in Laikipia the (IEBC) targets to register about 63,725 people during the second phase of Enhanced Continuous Voter (ECVR) registration exercise that kicked off on Monday despite low turnout.

IEBC County Coordinator Ms Agnes Mutisya speaking to the media on Tuesday in Nanyuki town called on eligible voters to utilize the registration period aimed at enabling them to participate in this year’s General Elections.

“I urge youths to come out in large numbers to register as voters and help us achieve our target,” said Ms Mutisya, revealing that, since the exercise started on Monday, they recorded only 274 new voters.

The coordinator said during the first registration phase that happened last year, they registered a total of 11,605 new voters against the target of 75,330 voters.

In Kisumu Leaders have sent out a rallying call to all eligible residents to come out and register as voters as IEBC kicks off the second phase of mass voter registration countrywide.

During the officially launch of the exercise at the Mama Grace Onyango Social Hall, Kisumu County Assembly Speaker Elisha Oraro emphasized the need to mobilizing resources and create awareness in the villages to maximize the voters’ numbers during the ongoing registration exercise.

Kisumu County Elections Manager Patrick Odame said a multi-agency approach has been developed to mop up all eligible voters to register before the exercise is concluded on 6th February, 2022.

The drive, he said targets those who failed to register last time and those who recently acquired Identification Cards adding that biometric registration kits have been strategically placed across the county to reach the target.

And separately in Kisii, Senator Prof. Sam Ongeri has decried current low turnout in Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (ECVR) in Bonchari constituency.

Addressing Orange Democratic Movement party delegates from Bonchari constituency at Agricultural Training Centre in the outskirts of Kisii town, Ongeri urged eligible voters to present themselves for registration ahead of the polls.

While in Homa Bay, the Deputy Governor, Hamilton Orata has challenged the area residents who are yet to register as voters to come out in large numbers before the expiry of the exercise.

He said the (IEBC) had only captured 80,000 out of the 156,000 targeted new voters urging residents to heed calls to register.

In Mombasa, the Orange Democratic Party leadership has mandated aspirants for Members of County Assembly seats to mobilize residents at the grassroots level to register as voters. This move is in order to increase the number of voters in the region which is still low.

According to National Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration (ECVR) data as at 5th November 2021, the number of new registered voters in Mombasa County was 41,568.

And in a related development in Machakos the (IEBC) targets some 100,000 new voters during the second phase of the voter registration exercise that commenced Monday.

Speaking during the launch of the exercise, Machakos Central Ward, IEBC Officer Jackline Ngila Musau, revealed that during the first phase of the registration exercise which was conducted from October 4 to November 5, Machakos County registered 40,191.

Separately in Siaya the IEBC officials held meetings with various Members of County Assembly at their headquarters to deliberate on ways to enhance voter registration at ward levels.

The stakeholder meeting attended by the majority of county’s MCAs sought to bring together the leadership at the grassroots levels as the commission embarks on the second day of the voter registration exercise.

Amongst the key issues that were raised by some of the County Assembly representatives were the inclusion of youth leaders in voter mobilization because the youth form a large majority of the targeted number of new voters.

Speaking during the meeting, the County Elections Manager Mrs. Ruth Kulundu cited the inclusion of chiefs as an effective way of mobilizing the citizens at the ward levels because of the proximity of the chiefs to the people, a method she said had proven effective in the first phase of the exercise and that this time it would be applied on a wider scale.

While in Narok, the commission is targeting about 99, 095 people during the second phase of Enhanced Continuous Voter Registration Exercise (ECVR).

The county IEBC manager Ms. Anastacia Mutua said in the first phase of registration, only 35, 000 new voters out of a target of 78, 000 registered.

In the first phase of ECVR, Narok North constituency was leading with 6845 new voters, followed by Narok West with 6804 while Narok East constituency performed the worst with only 2638 newly registered voters.

By KNA team

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