March 20, 2019

Kenyans in Diaspora could vote online in 2022 elections

IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati

Kenyans in Diaspora could have a say in 2022’s general election if a plan by Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to introduce an online voting platform is realized.

IEBC Chairman Wafula Chebukati said the poll agency is mulling introduction of an online voting system to enable Kenyans living in the diaspora shape Kenya’s democracy through casting their votes online.

In a tweet where he made the revelation, Chebukati said such a move will also cut cost incurred during elections by IEBC.

“IEBC is considering online voting for Diaspora to cut costs,” read the tweet.

Chebukati noted that the system must be highly secure to avoid instances of data in it from being compromised. “[The system] must be secure and verifiable.”

IEBC will now engage all stakeholders involved including Parliament before the system is rolled out ahead of 2022 general elections.

The commission’s undertaking to roll out an online voting system follows a survey conducted by Kenya Diaspora Alliance, which showed Kenyans in diaspora would like to vote given a chance and a convenient platform.

Out of every 10 people interviewed, showed the survey’s findings according to Capital News, 8 of them expressed willingness to vote online.

Another study conducted by researchers from the University of North Carolina (US) between March 25, 2016 and December 5, 2016, indicates Kenyans in Diaspora have special interest in their mother country politics.

Lead researcher Beth Elise Whitaker, conducted the study over the Internet.

Links were shared in 67 countries across the world through online advertisements and the Kenya Diaspora Portal of the Foreign Affairs Ministry.

In these 67 countries, there is a significant number of Kenyans.

About 777 respondents accounting for a third of the responses were from the U.S where a majority of Kenyans in the diaspora live.



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