Kenya Diaspora Workshop - Considerations for Diaspora Voting on Nov 2nd in Washington, DC
A mandate of the newly appointed Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC) is to enable Diaspora voting. With this, there is immense pressure from political parties and Diaspora groups to fully enable out-of-country voting during the March 2013 elections. A policy has been enacted by the IEBC that will allow Kenyan voters to register and vote at 47 embassies worldwide. However, this policy may not completely satisfy the demands for out-of-country voting accessibility.
In order to promote better understanding among officials and leaders of the Kenyan Diaspora on out-of-country voting, IFES will host a workshop on Friday, November 2nd, 2012 describing the complexities surrounding the implementation of this process. Key topics will include how to register ad vote, biometric voter registration, and internet voting.
Date/Time: Friday, November 2nd, 2012 from 10am to 2pm.
Venue: IFES – 1850 K St NW (fifth floor), Washington, DC 20006.
Lunch will be served.
Featured speakers will include IEBC Chairman Ahmed Isaack Hassan, IFES Senior Global Electoral Advisor Peter Erben among others.
The event will also be webcast. Please visit IFES’ multimedia page at the time of the event to watch online.
RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is a non-governmental organization; registered as a 501(c)3 in the United States. IFES supports citizens’ right to participate in free and fair elections.
This idea about diaspora voting is controversial and it looks like it is going to cause problems for various reasons:
- Only a handful of people around Washington seem to handling everything and pretending to speak for the rest of us.
- There are over a million of us scattered around the country in many states as well as other parts of the world and the idea being floated is for voting to occur in Embassies.
- How do you expect hundreds of thousands of voters from around the US to fly in and drive out to converge in the few Consular offices on one probably wintery March 4th????????????? Logistically that is impossible.
- Also how will rigging for a given candidate be prevented in a Diaspora where even some ambassadors, I guess all in fact, have a candidate they favor???? If the Ogembo person rigs for his candidate, how chaotic a situation will have added to an already volatile issue????
- If this issue is to be success, the only way would be to work with the US government and other national governments so that Kenyans who are eligible to vote around the US or elsewhere can go vote in schools, churches, post offices or whichever other public locations are normally used in US elections. Anything short of that is futile and controversial "primitive energy." sorry
- Those who are pushing for these diaspora elections seem to be pushing for a certain candidate but there are over a million of us who do not support their candidate and if the diaspora voting were to be done the US way, we'll defeat the candidate they have in mind, hands down!!!!!!!!!!!
- Having a meeting in Washington DC only is evident of a selfish group of people in Washington who want to do what is convenient for them and whoever they are trying to support. There are thousands of Kenyans in places like St Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, Boston, all over California, Texas, Georgia, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa etc and meetings should be held in all these major locations by whoever is portending to be working on this idea of voting
This is a major step ahead, not Diaspora voting because we will not due to logistical challenges, but it's a major step to have the policy enacted. We are making baby steps.
Now, for the next election, since we have enacted the policy, let's not stop there. I would expect that the next election we will be able to register online and vote online. For now, the policy being in place is enough. Otherwise only those in DC will vote, probably a fraction due to the snowy weather. So, if the meeting in DC is not about finding me a way to vote from Boston area, just stop spending tax payers' money.