7 vital things you need to know before voting (Photos)

As we begin to vote on Tuesday, there are key issues everyone should be aware of before casting their vote.

1. What the colours on the ballot paper mean

The colours on the ballot are as follows WHITE ballot is for the PRESIDENCY; YELLOW ballot for the SENATOR; BLUE ballot for the GOVERNOR; PURPLE ballot for the WOMEN REP; GREEN ballot for the MP and BEIGE ballot for the MCA.

2. The Manifesto and track record of your candidate

Reading a candidate's manifesto is essential in helping you make an informed decision.

Voting for any politician simply because of their political party but is unwise. Consider a few things like if the manifesto is in line with your desires for the country, whether it will improve the living standards, health care  or whether it will deal with the growing job insecurity and corruption.

A good track record is also important. Don’t be impressed by the snazzy suits, sweet nothings and intellect, do a background check and you might be shocked to learn that your desirable candidate is a crook who looted Mumias Sugar or deals with corrupt individuals with a slap on the wrist. Or you might find out that they are the best fit due to a great development record.

3. Opening and closing times of polling stations

It's good to be aware at what time the polling stations will open and close to ensure you prepare in advance.

Find out when they open and close so you can squeeze it in into your busy schedule and factor in the travel logistics.

After voting steer clear of the polling station, the recommended distance by IEBC is 400 meters away. Although according to a recent court ruling by Justice Richard Mwongo this doesn’t apply to people living within the 400 meters radius.

4. Know who you are voting for

It’s important for you as a voter to know who you are voting for even before arriving at the polling station, know who your choice is from the President right to the MCA.

One can only make a good decision by checking the performance of their candidates in different positions they held, their manifestos and the works they have ever done even before being elected.

5. Whether you are a registered voter

Make sure you know whether you are a registered voter. Do not fall in the Kenyan trap of doing things at the last minute, to find out if you are registered, send your ID number to 70000 or check via the IEBC website. It will save you the grief of queuing to vote then learning that you are not a registered voter.

6. Appropriate clothing

Do not wear the colours of your preferred political party as this can make you a target to political fanatics and rioters. Make sure you have also dressed appropriately for the weather because crop tops and mini-skirts are not cute in sub zero weather.

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