Voter registration deadline extended again

Voter registration deadline extended again

The High Court on Thursday, February 16 extended the mass voter registration exercise for three more days following a petition by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Justice Enoch Chacha Mwita ruled that the listing should continue until Sunday, February 19 at 6:00 pm when the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) will stop the exercise.

The court ruled that the right to vote is a constitutionally guaranteed one and that every would-be potential voter should be availed the chance to register.

“I direct IEBC to continue with mass voter registration up to 19th February this month after which the exercise stands closed,” ruled Justice Mwita.

In the case,  IEBC opposed the activist’s petition saying that the commission has been spending Sh70 million daily to conduct the listing exercise.

“In light of the foregoing, it is not tenable to simply embark on extended voter registration without taking into account all these factors,” IEBC argued.

The commission further argued that if the orders sought by Omtatah were granted, they would interfere with the fiscal and logistical measures put in place by the electoral body to ensure that there is an accurate, verifiable and accountable election, which is a cardinal requirement in the electoral system.

The electoral commission submitted that the case should be dismissed on grounds that it is bad in law as it only seeks to interfere with the electoral process timeline.

The petitioner Okiya Omutatah, however,  told presiding Judge Enoch Chacha Mwita that IEBC is not constrained financially adding that terminating the exercise early would deny a lot of people their constitutional right to vote.

Omutatah wanted the voter registration to continue until the May 7th year, two months before the polls, adding that the timelines issued by IEBC are unconstitutional.

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