Possible Reasons Why Kenyans Are Reluctant to Register as Voters

By Lynnet Okumu / Published January 27, 2022 | 10:13 am




KEY POINTS

Only 229,843 new voters have been registered in the last seven days against the weekly target of 1,493,569.


Voter registration

KEY TAKEAWAYS


As much as the leaders move to grassroots levels to mobilize the public to register, they also need to upscale their leadership skills.


With approximately 8 months to the Kenyan general election, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has raised concern over the alarmingly low rate of voter registration witnessed in October 2021 and the ongoing exercise in the country.

According to the Gazette Notice published by IEBC on Friday, January 21, 2022, the upcoming General Election will be held on Tuesday, August 9, 2022.

Only 229,843 new voters have been registered in the last seven days against the weekly target of 1,493,569. Further, the Commission received 34,928 requests for transfer and 345 applications for change of particulars.

The latest report released by the end of last week indicated that some counties had only registered below three thousand new voters.

Some factors that might be associated with the increased reluctance among the people include:

  1. Unfair elections

The 2007/2008 post-election violence remains etched into the minds of Kenyans. This was the price of rigging elections that culminated in the darkest year in the history of our nation.

Ever heard of the narrative propagated in Africa that the people who count the votes are the ones who determine the winner? Well, this has crept into the mindset of many who are now discouraged.

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Most Kenyans feel it is a waste to register as a voter because the vote will not count. Nobody trusts the commission in charge of the election because it has not proved them wrong in the past.

  1. Unfulfilled Promises

Kenyans have become weary of the unfulfilled promises by the political class. They see elections as avenues that politicians have converted into sources of enriching themselves.

The politicians after being elected, return to their humdrum lives. They forget the “Wanjiku’s” who put them in office.

The leader only returns to his flamboyant lifestyle while you continue to live a grueling life. You will only see them after five years because he/she is done with you. All this happens because we value greed more than democracy.

  1. Ignorance

Most Kenyans, especially at the grass-root levels are not aware of the importance of casting their votes because they’ve not been properly educated on the same.

As much as the leaders move to grassroots levels to mobilize the public to register, they also need to upscale their leadership skills to deliver their manifestos. This will instill the spirit of patriotism.

I believe the public will find it easier to register as voters and cast their votes when the time comes without being pestered to do so if the leaders eradicate and desist from the factors mentioned above and any other ill-mannered behaviors that make the public feel dissatisfied.






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