Working with Kenyan Youth to Get Out the Vote During the 2017 Electoral Period
During the 2017 electoral period in Kenya, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) supported the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission in deploying a dynamic youth outreach strategy as part of the United States Agency for International Development-funded Kenya Electoral Assistance Program (KEAP). The Kenyan Constitution defines youth as individuals between the ages of 18 and 35 years old. This demographic is a vital part of Kenyan society, making up roughly 78.3 percent of Kenya’s population, yet they have traditionally voted at lower rates, making up only 51 percent of registered voters. With this in mind, a centerpiece of the IFES-supported electoral outreach campaign strategy was the Youth Vote (YVOTE) digital media and face-to-face outreach initiative. Utilizing media messaging reinforced through in-person activities, YVOTE educated, engaged and motivated young people to encourage active and peaceful participation in the electoral process.
YVOTE targeted areas with large proportions of first-time voters and where ballots had been incorrectly cast in the past, indicating the need for more targeted outreach on voting procedures. YVOTE reached over 1 million Kenyans with engaging and informative voter information messaging over social media.
For more information on the success of this outreach initiative, watch the summary video below where you can hear from Kenyan YVOTE youth ambassadors on their outreach efforts and from Kenyan youth on YVOTE’s impact on their knowledge of electoral processes.