Court extends voter registration in Kenya

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Voter registration.

A court in Kenya has ordered the electoral commission to extend the mass voter registration for the August general elections.

The ongoing registration had been scheduled to end Tuesday.

The court’s order has prompted a large turnout of prospective voters, Africa Review reports on Tuesday.

Justice Chacha Mwita, sitting in Nairobi, ordered the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) to continue with the exercise, pending a hearing of the case on February 16.

Justice Mwita issued the order following a suit filed by activist Okiya Omtatah.

Mr Omtatah had argued that the registration could only be closed two months to a General Election.

It was not in doubt that Kenyans were given to the last-minute rush.

They did not disappoint on Tuesday when thousands flocked voter registration centres, hours to the expiry of the month-long listing.

Armed with IDs, they thronged voter listing centres countrywide, with many spending hours in queues that had not been witnessed for the whole month.

In Nakuru, about 152km west of Nairobi, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) offices were a beehive of activity, with many residents seeking the greenlight to vote as others sought to transfer their polling stations.

The IEBC acting coordinator for the Central Rift, Mr Paul Kones, said the number of eligible voters at listing centres shot up on Monday, with some stations doubling the numbers they were witnessing per day.

There were long queues at registration centres in Nakuru, a stark contrast to the last 29 days when registration centres were virtually empty.


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  • Inaff_said

    In practice voter registration has always been a continuous process. Up till around 3 months to election day the commission has an obligation to register or transfer any voter who shows up at their offices with relevant identification. It’s mass recruitment of voters which should be done over a short period of time.