Kenyas electoral commission has launched an effort to get over five million new voters onto its books in readiness for the next general election, which will be held some time in 2007. According to the commission only 11.6 million Kenyans are currently on the electoral roll against the 17 million who are eligible.

Non-registered eligible voters have until 14 September to take their passport or national ID card to their nearest polling station to register. People who are already on the electoral roll can transfer to another polling station or constituency by presenting their voters card and ID at the polling station where they want to vote. Lost or damaged voters cards can also be replaced during the operation. Polling stations are open for registration daily from 08.00 to 17.00. The registers will then remain open for inspection from 27 September to 26 October to allow people to check their details and make amendments as necessary.

However, there is concern that many eligible people may be prevented from registering due to lack of ID. The electoral commission has said that of the 5.4 million Kenyans that the campaign is targeting at least 1.5 million have not applied for the documentation, have not collected an issued card or are waiting for their application to be processed. Next year Kenyans will go to the polls to choose a new president and parliament.

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