The Kenyan Constitution (2010) puts forth a vision of a democracy where all voters are fully enfranchised. In particular, it emphasizes the inclusion of women, youth, persons with disabilities and other groups who have historically been marginalized by or underrepresented in the governance of the country. It also provides for a constitutionally appointed independent election management body. Indeed, Kenya has made important strides to realize greater enfranchisement; however, there is still important work to be done.
The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) is currently working with the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) and other electoral stakeholders to evaluate and improve the enfranchisement of these marginalized groups. In particular, IFES is supporting the IEBC to further the participation and empowerment of women and youth in the electoral process through access to voter information, civic education in schools, and the sustainability of election technology.
IFES has worked in Kenya since 2002, originally assisting the Electoral Commission of Kenya with an electoral review process. In 2010, IFES provided technical support to the interim Independent Election Commission on the implementation of an electronic results transmission system, which resulted in a timely, transparent release of constitutional referendum and by-election results. Since 2011, IFES provided support and capacity building to the newly-created IEBC in the areas of voter registration, results transmission, oversight of political parties, civic education, and dispute resolution to facilitate the IEBC’s role in conducting transparent, credible and violence-free elections.