The Constitution of Kenya stipulates legislation of a framework for the progressive registration of citizens residing outside Kenya, and the progressive realization of their right to vote (Article 82, section (1) subsection (e). In working to achieve this mandate, IEBC is developing detailed regulations and procedures on Diaspora registration and voting and will submit the same to Parliament at least 6 months before the general elections as required by law.
This requires a consultative process that needs the input of Kenyans in the Diaspora, Civil Society Organisations and consensus amongst political parties and consideration of international best practices.
Key considerations for the process include: costs, the impact of Diaspora voting on domestic politics, logistics and other operational issues. Diaspora voting comes with administrative challenges such as security and transportation of electoral materials, voter education and training.
Some jurisdictions define the eligibility of the Diaspora voter by the number of years lived abroad. There is need to identify agents and observers.
- The Commission has adopted a Diaspora Policy to guide registration and voting by Kenyans abroad.Development of regulations is underway
- The Commission is in the process of establishing baseline data for purposes of setting up registration centres for the Kenyan Diaspora.