Voter registration in Kenya did not maximize on technology, Ndemo

Kenya’s information permanent secretary Dr. Bitange Ndemo has said voter registration did not take full advantage of technology which would have seen the electorate register from anywhere using virtual identification system.

Ndemo said had the system been set up on time, voters would have had the advantage of online registration that would enable them get voter ID’s from anywhere in the country.

“If we had done it, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would have found their work much easier,” he said, while speaking at a forum on cyber security.

Kenya is using the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) for the first time which will ensure electronic malpractices do not take place in the general elections taking place in March 2013.

With the current system, voters are required to visit their respective voting stations in order to get registered in person. One cannot register from anywhere, and go vote from their area of legislation, what Ndemo says would have been eliminated with the virtual identification system.

“We need to have the system, so that next time, our people in the Diaspora who have the virtual ID can vote for any part of the country that they want to vote in,” he added.

He says virtual identification is the most critical aspect in voter registration, as it would have eliminated some of the problems being faced by the country’s electoral body, IEBC.

The voter registration in the country officially kicked off yesterday, and reports suggest the IEBC has more than 18 million qualified voters, whom it’s supposed to register within the 30 day period as allowed in the constitution.

Already, some observers have come out to declare the target will not be met within the stipulated time, despite the fact that the voter registration took off on a slow start.

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