Top Stories / 2017 Elections
Tuesday, 22 Nov 2016 16:24 EAT
Busia County could go to 2017 general elections with 400,000 voters if its leaders meet targets by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission. In 2013 polls the county had a total of 251,305 registered voters, which rose to 284,335 after the mass voter registration exercise of March 2016. IEBC says the figures could go higher given the many potential voters still yet to be registered.
According to statistics released by IEBC Matayos Sub County Coordinator Daniel Mogoria early today, Teso South leads in the number of registered voters with 48,309 up from 41,835 in 2013. Matayos has 46,476 compared to 41,222 in 2013. Butula has 46,076 against 40,803 in 2013. Teso North has registered 42015 against 37,213, Funyula 36,199 (31,996), Nambale 34654 (30,881) and Budalangi 30164 compared to 27,355 in 2013.
Mr Mogoria said there are 112,000 people with identity cards who have not registered. “We are hoping they will all acquire voters’ cards plus others who shall have acquired IDs before the start of the Mass Voter Registration 2 on 20th December, 2016," he said, decrying that poor turnout and low registration is hindering the county's residents from fully participating in the electoral process. "The County will be a force to reckon with if it hits the 400,000 mark."
The official urged politicians to enlighten their residents on the need to register as voters saying that is the only way they can boast of tyranny of numbers. "Propagandists have been peddling rumors that underage can use passports to register as voters. The BVR kits will reject with a warning that that person does not qualify," he said.
Mr Mogoria said those who wish to change their voting points have up May 2017 when they will close the transfer window. Continuous Voting Registration, he said, is still on-going at the constituency headquarters. The Kenya Free Press has learnt that the county governor Sospeter Ojamong who is a close confidant of ODM and opposition leader Raila Odinga has plans to lead the mobilisation for voter registration soon.
The initiative by Mr Ojamong comes after the party concluded its grassroots polls and is part of its new strategy to hand its leader Raila Odinga a win in the 2017 General Election. The party is keen on listing the highest number of new voters in its strongholds after the IEBC announced it targets to register eight million voters in an exercise scheduled to kick off in February 2017.
The writer is a contributing reporter for the Kenya Free Press