July 24th 2017

Top Stories / 2017 Elections

ELOG raises red flag over IEBC’s failure to clarify anomalies in voter register

Some of the questions are on data of dead people and queries on SMS checks on registration status. This is despite voter verification and the KPMG audit which was expected to clean up the database to weed out ghost voters.

By Free Press Reporternewsdesk@kenyafreepress.comThursday, 06 Jul 2017 11:58 EAT

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati with him is commisioner Dr Roselyne Akombe addressing the media on preparation of the Register of voters for the August General election.

The Election Observation Group (ELOG) is raising the red flag on Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) over voter register. The Group is seeking clarity from IEBC on the registration of over 300,000 voters in the register to be used in the August 8 poll.

Consequently, ELOG wants IEBC to clean up the voters’ register before the elections. According to its election state of preparedness report released yesterday, the group’s findings reinforced an earlier audit by KPMG, which had detected some anomalies in the voters’ register.

The report noted that IEBC maintained 171,476 voters in the register who had invalid Identification Cards and whose details could not be verified in National Registration Bureau database. ELOG also wants the IEBC to shed light on how many voters were included in the register from the 17,523 whose details were not found in the data provided by the Directorate of Immigration.

The report also want the IEBC to confirm the status of 98 voters whose details were found to have been registered under diplomatic passports and their data had not been provided.

The ELOG chair Regina Opondo who released the report, said public officers were violating election laws by engaging in open campaigns for their preferred candidates. The report comes in the heels of concerns and public pressure for IEBC to explain anomalies reported on the audited voter's register.

"Of concern to us is how many voters, out of 17,523 whose details could not be found in the data, were included in the register," Opondo said.

Some of the questions are on data of dead people and queries on SMS checks on registration status. This is despite voter verification and the KPMG audit which was expected to clean up the database to weed out ghost voters.

The ELOG steering committee chair said issues emanating from the voters list by KPMG, and voter verification, remain controversial in the public domain and must be clarified.

Josephine Mongare, the group’s co-convener, said they want IEBC to address contraventions of the Election Act. She said this was seen in open voter bribery in form of distribution of money, food and services by major political parties and candidates. She also expressed concern over reports that chiefs and their assistants have been linked with campaigning for Jubilee Party.

The observers also asked IEBC to deal with violent attacks meted on aspirants and their supporters in the campaign trail. The May-June report also highlighted incidents of vandalism of campaign materials and hate speech during campaigns.

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