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IEBC scraps use of manual voter register for 2022 elections

Mr Chebukati asserted that using the digital register would prevent malpractices and any sabotage that was witnessed before

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has scrapped the use of manual register of voters during the August 9 polls.

IEBC has been using both electronic and manual voter registration at the polling station but that has changed after IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati announced that they will only rely on a digital register to serve the 22.1 million voters to avoid manipulation of the polling exercise.

This decision came after the Azimio coalition and the Kenya Kwanza alliance called upon IEBC to clean up the registry to ensure every voter is registered to avoid voter default on august polls.

Mr Chebukati asserted that using the digital register would prevent malpractices and any sabotage that was witnessed before.

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“As a result of the 2017 post-election evaluation, most of the malpractices were as a result of the physical voter registers.

"We believe that using the digital registers will cut down these malpractices where a presiding officer will know about who has not voted, their ID numbers, and is, therefore, able to input their details in the KIEMs kits, allowing malpractices to happen,” said Chebukati.

In the 2017 elections, IEBC employed a complementary mechanism that allowed voters not identified electronically to be allowed to vote on the strength of the printed register, with candidates’ agents signing off on the fact.

IEBC had in the October 26, 2017 repeat presidential elections released logs that showed that 99 percent of the voters were identified electronically.

IEBC chief executive Marjan Hussein has also insisted on an electronic mode of voter identification to curb electoral fraud.

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“According to me, this electronic identification will be the best way of preventing someone from winning when they are not supposed to be winning in the first place,” said IEBC CEO Hussein Marjan.

IEBC’s plan to completely abandon the physical register has brought up mixed reactions as six organizations drafted petitions to challenge its decision.

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