Kenyans still confused between BVR and electronic voting, IEBC says

Kenya’s electoral body the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expressed concerns over the large number of voters who still believe voting will be electronic, just three weeks before the March 4 polls.

The IEBC said over 87 percent of the voters it has interviewed in its ongoing voter education programme believe since Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) was used to input their details, then the voting will also be electronic.

“The hype about electronic voting emanates from what we did during registration,” IEBC director for voter education and partnerships Joel Mabonga told BusinessDaily Africa.“We have to push the message that we are going to vote manually just like we did before.”

For this reason, IEBC has entered into a partnership with leading telecommunications services provider Safaricom to print 9.5 million comic fliers to be distributed to primary school pupils countrywide.

According to the IEBC, the comics request pupils to ask their parents to vote in large numbers, accept the elections results and institute legal actions in cases where they fail to agree with the results.

“We want to ensure that every Kenyan will be reached by a child. If you do not listen to messages from an adult, then listen to that voice of a child,” Mabonga said.

IEBC says it will further use SMSs to spread the peace message among Kenyans using the slogan “Kugombea si Kugombana” (Contesting is not fighting).

Mabonga added that most Kenyans still believe there will be an automatic re-run in the elections, implying that they do not know the conditions that will lead to this.

“For there to be a run-off the leading candidate must fail to garner more than 50 percent of the cast vote and 25 percent of the votes in 24 counties. These conditions will not matter in the run-off where a simple majority counts,” he said.

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