Editorials

Roll out voter education

Wafula Chebukati

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • At least six million new voters are expected to register by November 2. So far, only 14 percent have listed in the first week of mass listing.
  • The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) attributes the low turnout to voter apathy and insecurity in some parts of the country.

At least six million new voters are expected to register by November 2. So far, only 14 percent have listed in the first week of mass listing.

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) attributes the low turnout to voter apathy and insecurity in some parts of the country.

With the target mostly young woul-be first-time voters, the IEBC should have by now rolled out an aggressive voter education campaign. However, it appears the polls agency is listing voters only to meet its mandate ahead of the 2022 General Election.

While the IEBC claims it has hired voter mobilisers in the 290 constituencies to boost awareness of the listing, there is barely any evidence of civic education.

The gap has left room for politicians and partisan groups who twist information in their favour.

Voter education helps citizens develop values and knowledge that is relevant to their participation in their communities.

Informed citizens make good decisions, including their choice of leaders and are actively engaged in the country’s affairs. This is what democracy is pegged on.

The IEBC must conduct proper civic education to empower citizens to participate in the election process.