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IEBC Reveals Plan To Fully Engage PWDs In The Ongoing Mass Voter Registration

The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has expressed it is doing its registration drive in open places to permit participation for people with inabilities (PWDs).

Talking during a stakeholders' forum with PWDs at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, IEBC chairperson, Wafula Chebukati, shared the commission was in the race to identify different difficulties they might face and address them accordingly. "IEBC has set up measures to facilitate access to registration, voter information and polling by conducting voter registration in premises that can be effectively accessed to by PWDs e.g. roadside, markets and other open public spaces," expressed Chebukati.

As indicated by the chairman, the goal of convening the forum was to deliberate on ways of enhancing participation of the PWDs in the electoral process.

He recognized that PWDs form a critical part of voters, who were in danger of being left out of the process because of their special voting needs.

"The Commission is conscious of the numerical strength of Kenyans with disabilities, who actually face difficulties in accessing to their rights to partake in political life on an equal basis with others.

"The World Health Organization states around 15% of the total population live with some type of disability. This demands that duty bearers deliberately set up measures to ensure electoral access for PWDs is extended to enable their participation in the elections," he added. The commission has delved into the issue to make it compliant with its 2019 Gender and Social Inclusion Policy (GSIP) to ensure the incorporation of special interest groups.

The electoral agency plans to collaborate with the PWDs groups and other pertinent bodies to distribute communication materials about voting in braille for the visually impaired and sign language videos for the hearing impaired.

Different measures in the plan for IEBC incorporate obtaining polling booths that address the interests of all disability groups just as giving them priority during both registration and voting.

IEBC rolled out the mass voter registration drive on October 4, 2021, and presently anticipates reaching out to PWDs to help realize the registration target of in excess of 6,000,000 new voters.

The commission had registered 491,968 new voters by October 17, out of a target of 3,000,000 by that date.

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Chebukati IEBC Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission Kenya PWDs

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