IEBC: We will remove 1.18 million voters from the register

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati. Parliament’s rejection of new regulations intended to seal loopholes in the voting system has thrown the electoral commission into a spin barely 60 days before the August 9 polls.

Photo credit: Francis Nderitu | Nation Media Group

At least 1.18 million voters will be knocked off the voters register ahead of August 9 elections. 

This is after a preliminary audit report by KPMG revealed several anomalies in the 22.5 million raw database of registered voters presented for audit by the electoral commission.  

The number include 246,465 dead voters, 481,711 voters who have been registered more than once as well as 226,143 voters who were registered with IDs that do not validly belong to them.

A further 164, 269 voters were registered with invalid identification documents, that is either IDs or passports.

Speaking during a press conference at Bomas Wednesday night, Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Chairperson Mr Wafula Chebukati the Commission will receive the final audit report on June 16, 2022 before engaging stakeholders on the final register of voters a day after.

“As you may be aware, the Commission engaged KPMG on April 7, 2022 to conduct an audit of the Register of Voters, while the continuous voter registration activity was ongoing,” said Mr Chebukati.

“The Commission received a preliminary audit report with useful information, including 246,465 deceased voters, 481,711 duplicate records and 226,143 voters registered with IDs that don’t validly belong to them, 164,269 registered with voter records with invalid identification documents (IDs and Passports) that have to be addressed prior to certification and publishing of the register,” he added.

Consequently, the Commission will move back the publishing of the register of voters from the slated June 9 to June 20, 22.

This is to allow the electoral agency more time to address the findings emanating from the audit report before making the register public.

“Previously, the Commission had announced that it would certify and publish the register of voters on or before 9th June 2022. However, due to implementation of preliminary audit findings on the register, the Commission has decided to address the findings prior to certifying the register for publication on/or before 20th June 2022,” he said.

Last week, Deputy President William Ruto raised concerns over missing details of about one million voters from his strongholds, claiming that they could have been deleted from the register.

He linked the development to an alleged plan to interfere with the polls in favour of his competitors in the August 9 elections.

But in a rejoinder, Mr Chebukati allayed any fears regarding the claims assuring Kenyans the register is safe and has not been tampered with. 

The electoral agency's chief said they had 19.6 million voters in 2017, but that number has increased to 22.5 million voters. 

“We don't have statistics on the missing voters on the register they are talking about. If they have such data then we please advise them to see us at any of our registration centre and we shall attend to them,” said Mr Chebukati. 

“However, I want to state clearly that the data on registered voters is intact. I want to assure Kenyans that the register is intact, safe and there has been no breach,” he added.

KPMG’s Head of Advisory Gerald Kasimu said they had made a range of recommendations which will have to be dealt with first before the final register can be gazetted.

He explained that some of the recommendations can be implemented immediately while others require more time to allow for investigations.

Mr Kasimu pointed out that some of the issues they are seized with include complaints about transfers where certain voters have raised concern about being transferred from areas they had registered to areas they did not wish to vote from.

“We have identified these issues of concern and we expect that by the time we issue our final report we can confirm to the commission that we are comfortable with the implementation of the recommendations that we have issued,” he said.