Inclusive Voter Education in Kenya
Kenya has a population of 45 million and the population of the persons with disability is estimated at 6.7 million (per WHO’s estimation level of 15%). Kenya ratified the CRPD in the year 2008. Kenya has in place the ‘Persons with Disabilities Act’ 2003 to provide support and equal access to PwD’s. Excerpts of Article 29 and 30 from the Act are given as below:
Persons with Disabilities Act (2003)
- All persons with disabilities shall be entitled at their request, to be assisted by persons of their choice in voting in presidential, parliamentary and civic elections.
- A person who undertakes to render assistance under subsection (1) shall do so strictly in accordance with the instructions of the voter.
- A person described in subsection (2) shall bind himself, in the prescribed form, to comply with that subsection.
A person who contravenes subsection (2) is guilty of an offence.
Polling stations shall be made accessible to persons with disabilities during elections, and such persons shall in addition be provided with the necessary devices and assistive devices and services to facilitate the exercise of this right under this section.
Voter Education using road shows A Citizen going through Voter Education materials at the ASK show in Kenya
Voter Education Weeks: ‘Informed Voter for Informed choices'; Emphasis on Inclusion
During this week, the IEBC sensitize public on the importance of participation in the electoral process as well as boost the continuous voter registration process. Other issues highlighted cover inclusion and mainstreaming, party lists, political tolerance and dispute resolution mechanisms etc. The voter education weeks are implemented countrywide through outreach programmes to schools, electoral technology exhibition, media campaigns, onsite service delivery, open stakeholders’ forum, and town hall meetings. IEBC engages Stakeholders in advance to derive larger voter satisfaction from the event. IEBC has given a special call inter alia to the Persons with a Disability to participate in the forthcoming elections and all facilities are provided to such voters.
IEBC Collaboration with the IFES
IEBC has collaborated with the IFES for facilitating Consultative forums for Persons with Disabilities (PwDs), Women and Youth forums. Further, IEBC also collaborates with the KCHR (Kenya Commission of Human Rights) for assessment of participation of Persons with Disabilities in general elections.
Banners Announcing Launch of ‘Voter Education for Schools Project’ in Kenya
Inclusion of the PwD’s is prominently demonstrated in banners displayed at the launch of a new voter education initiative for schools in Kenya. Led by the IEBC, the Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Kenya Institute of Curriculum development (KICD) the project is supported by the IFES and the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
Edited by ECI