IEBC: We will ensure strict voter identification in August 9 polls

IEBC commissioner Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye (left) and Chairman Wafula Chebukati (right) and electoral agency commissioners in Naivasha on January 7, 2021.  

Photo credit: Francis Mureithi | Nation Media Group

Ahead of the August 9 polls, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) says it has put in place strict protocols for the identification of voters.

The agency said voters whose identity would not be possible to verify with the use of biometric technology due to worn out fingerprints will not be denied an opportunity to vote.

IEBC commissioner Prof Abdi Yakub Guliye said the electoral agency has put in place strict identification protocols of voters. 

"IEBC is committed to ensuring transparent, free, fair, and credible elections and Kenyans whose fingerprints are worn out will not be locked out," said Prof Guliye.

Ahead of the second phase of the biometric voter registration, some Kenyans have expressed fears that they may be left out due to the worn-out fingerprints due to the nature of their work.

Fishermen and stone masons have worn-out fingerprints and their records and other details cannot be verified using the biometric Voter Registration gadgets.

Prof Guliye said that the biometric gadgets captures all the 10 fingers to spread the risk of misidentification based on one or two fingers.

The IEBC commissioner stated that voters whose biometric details have been captured early and for whatever reasons they cannot be identified based on the fingerprints will also not be denied an opportunity to vote.

"In such a case we shall do an alphanumeric search which means we take the identity card number of these voters and feed it into the system and once it is fed the system will pop up the details of that particular person and this usually allows doing a one-on-one match," said Prof Guliye.

The IEBC official said should there be an issue again on one-on-one match, the agency will do a supervisory validation since the details of these persons are already on the screen of the tablet and that would enable them to vote.

To clear any doubt on the voter, the photo which was taken during registration will be checked and face on the system to identify the voters.