Voter registration in Kenya is a process that involves checking details of citizens eligible to vote and recording such in the Register of voters for elections. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission ( I.E.B.C.) as per the Constitution has the mandate of voter registration.
The voter registration process in Kenya can be periodic or continuous. Periodic registration is where a voter register is prepared when there is an election. This register is used only for that election.
Continuous registration of voters is where an existing register of voters is updated.
Updating of principal voter registration
The I.E.B.C. does this by:
- Adding names of eligible voters regularly
- Transferring of registered voters
- Deleting names of dead voters
- Deleting names of voters declared incompetent legally
- Deleting voters registered more than once
- Rectifying details of voters
Eligibility criteria of voting
Article 83 of the Kenyan Constitution outlines the eligibility criteria of voting.
A person must;
- be a Kenyan citizen
- be an adult ( have a national ID card or Kenyan passport)
- be of sound mind
- not been convicted of an election offence during the preceding five years
Enrollment of a new voter
Voter registration is done at any of the gazetted registration centres using the Biometric Voter Registration (BVR) kit. A Registration Officer captures both the alphanumeric data and the biometric data of the potential voter.
Process to be followed by the registration clerk
- receive and welcome the applicant
- request the applicant’s identification documents
- confirm ownership and validity of the documents
- probe whether the applicant has applied for fresh registration elsewhere
- capture the applicant’s identification details
- issue the applicant with an application form (Form A). If illiterate or for any other reason, the Registration Officer should assist them
- capture the applicant’s biometric features (fingerprint and face) and alphanumeric details into the BVR system
The applicant should;
- place the four fingers of the left hand on the fingerprint reader till the fingerprint indicator turns green to show that the capture is complete
- repeat the above procedure for the right hand fingers
- repeat the same for the two thumbs
- when the fingerprint capture process is complete the fingerprints are displayed on the screen
- Take a passport sized photo of the applicant and confirm its clarity
- invite the applicant to confirm the data captured and correct any identified errors
- fill the acknowledgement slip and capture the unique reference number generated by the system as voter’s elector’s number
- retrieve the duly field registration form (Form A) from the applicant
- have the applicant fill and sign the Registration Centre Reference book
- issue a laminated acknowledgement of voters registration slip bearing the voters details to the applicant (this slip is not a voting requirement; only the identity card or valid Kenyan passport is required to vote)
- inform the applicant where they will vote
- inform the applicant that inspection of the voters register will follow sometime after the close of registration
Voter registration for Citizens in the Diaspora
Article 82 (1) (e) of the Kenyan constitution provides for progressive registration of Citizens living outside Kenya and their right to vote. The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) gazettes identified registration centres in Kenyan Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates.
An eligible Kenyan citizen residing outside Kenya applies for registration at designated registration centres by filling Form J
The applicant must provide a valid Kenyan passport
The procedure for voter registration is similar to the above process in Kenya only that form J in this case replaces Form A.