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Kenya 2022 elections: Let the game of numbers begin

By Son Gatitu
Posted on Thursday, 14 October 2021 17:56

An official from the IEBC inspects ballot boxes at Kasarani gymnasium in Kenya's capital Nairobi March 5, 2013. REUTERS/Noor Khamis

Kenya’s Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has begun a nationwide voter registration 10 months ahead of the general election. The commission is looking to enlist at least 7.2 million new voters, and for the political class, this is both an opportunity and a threat. The seven million potential voters, mostly young people, could easily tilt the election. It is now a game of numbers in what has historically been a tribe-based electoral contest.

In Kenya, for one to participate in an election, they must be over 18 years of age and have an identity card, the primary identification document for an adult. Kenyan law requires the IEBC to conduct continuous voter registration for Kenyans who reach the age of majority. This is however not the case as the commission perennially complains of limited resources and a lack of motivation for potential voters to enlist.