NAIROBI, Feb 15 – The much anticipated mass voter registration exercise kicks off Monday, Feb 15, across Kenya, with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) announcing that it will be conducted at designated registration centres in every county assembly ward.

The exercise, which is expected to run until March 15, 2016, will be launched here Monday by IEBC Chairman Ahmed Issack Hassan in Nairobi County at the Pumwani Community Social Hall in the Kamukunji constituency.

The 30-day Mass Voter Registration (MVR) exercise will involve the registration of new eligible voters; transfer of voters who are already registered but wish to change their polling stations; and verification of the register for already registered voters.

The IEBC has deployed 5,756 Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kits and a corresponding number of Voter Registration Assistants (VRAs) to conduct the exercise at county assembly wards (CAWs) across the country.

The distribution schedule for the BVR kits has been circulated and is also available on the IEBC website.

On Monday at the launch of the exercise, the commission will mount a voter registration roadshow across Nairobi with the caravan making stopovers at various residential estates including Kariokor, Mathare, Roysambu, Zimmerman, Kasarani, Umoja, Kayole and Pipeline.

Politicians from across the political divide have objected to the voter registration being carried out at the ward level in the counties. They have argued that eligible voters will be denied an opportunity to register because of inhibitions arising from the long distances they have to travel to register.

The Leader of Majority in Parliament, Aden Duale, has prevailed on the IEBC to postpone the exercise and allow Parliament to increase the budgetary allocation to enable the IEBC to conduct the exercise at polling stations.

The leader of opposition coalition CORD, Raila Odinga, and CORD Co-principals Kalonzo Musyoka and Moses Wetangula had expressed concern that voters in some areas stand to be disenfranchised if the exercise is carried out at the ward level.

Leading CORD officials led by Odinga are meeting governors affiliated to the opposition coalition in Kisumu to strategize for the 2017 general election.

Source: KBC