The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has announced plans to close down polling stations in areas earmarked as violence hotspots ahead of the 2017 General Election.
The electoral commission plans to move the polling stations from the volatile regions to safer areas to allow for voters to cast their ballots in a safer environment.
Counties that are scheduled to be affected by the new decision include: Nairobi, Kiambu, Lamu, Garissa, Wajir, Turkana, Baringo, Laikipia, Kwale Kisii, Migori, Siaya, Bungoma, Kericho, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uasin Gishu, Nandi, Bomet, Narok, Bomet, Meru, Kirinyaga, Murang'a, Kisumu, Samburu, West Pokot, Isiolo and Marsabit.
Following a meeting between the IEBC and top security officials yesterday, commissioner Dr Roseline Akombe conveyed that talks were underway to oversee a smooth transition.
"On Baringo and Lamu where we have people displaced from their polling stations, our staff have held discussions with stakeholders (political parties, county commissioners, security agencies and local leaders) and agreed on specific areas to have the polling stations that are safer," she explained.
Dr Akombe added that training of the staff had also been affected in these regions calling for contingency plans to ensure their plans proceed as scheduled.
"Training for our staff has been moved to safer places, for instance, you cannot congregate Pokots in one place near the boundary with the Marakwets as they become soft targets," she illustrated.
The transfer exercise will inflate the IEBC budget by a total of Sh2 Million as officials and voting material will need to be flown in and out of the areas.