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Kenya: Clerical errors to blame for tainted voters register

As many as a million dead voters could be in the election register, according to a report released by the auditing firm, KPMG.

This figure is significant particularly in a closely-fought election as it opens the possibility of ballot stuffing, which was cited as one of the irregularities that marred the disputed results of the 2007 presidential election.

The dispute sparked violence that claimed 1,133 lives.

The question of dead voters “rising on voting day to cast their ballots” has in the past sparked controversy, with politicians saying this opened an avenue for vote fraud.

According to the audit, whose findings were presented to the electoral commission today, there could be as many as 1,037,260 voters in the register who could have died between November 2012 and December last year.

By comparing data from the principal registrar of births and deaths, the audit found that there were 435,157 people who had been confirmed dead but whose names remained in the register.

Comparing with general population numbers, the audit concluded that 1.5 million people over the age of 18 could have died between 2012 and December last year. However, only 621,832 were registered.

As a start, KPMG asked the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to immediately expunge 92,277 names of deceased persons whose IDs and names matched with those in the register of voters.

“The audit of the register of voters by KPMG is the first independent audit of the register and included comparison of the data in the register of voters against third party data maintained by other State Agencies,” IEBC said.

Information from the registrar of persons indicates that there are 25,323,059 Kenyans who have identity cards.

This makes them eligible to vote. However, only 19,646,673 actually registered, according to the register of voters certified by the electoral commission.

In 2013, that number stood at 14.3 million. Out of these, 6,174, 433 voted for Mr Uhuru Kenyatta while another 5,340,546 voted for Mr Raila Odinga.

Mr Uhuru defeated Mr Odinga by 833,887 votes to become Kenya’s fourth President.

He avoided a run-off by only about 8,000 votes.

The scrutiny of the current register found that 2.9 million voters have inaccuracies in their records.

This means that their dates of birth, gender, names and identity card numbers have anomalies.

©Daily Nation

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