Voter Registration Cannot End Before May

No state agency, no independent commission can change the law. The IEBC is no exemption. Their mass voter registration drive may end today, Feb. 14, 2017. Which is legitimate. But voter registration itself cannot end on that day. Every adult Kenyan citizen has the right to register to vote until 90 days before the election date. This is what the Elections Act states in Section 5 (1) (a). This means that the state agencies have to make sure that they can accept these late registrations until that date AND comply with the other law provisions like for example the opening of the register for check by the general public (Sec. 9, Elections Act)

In principle, voter registration is a continuous process. The law just allows for a 60 day break befor the date of a general election.

But instead, the IEBC has been stressing (or pretending) that not only mass voter registration but the registration is ending on Feb. 14, 2017, like in this tweet two days before the end of the mass voter registration drive.

IEBC tweet of Feb 12 pretending the exercise would end Feb 14.
IEBC tweet of Feb 12 pretending the exercise would end Feb 14.

This is understandable because time seems to be short for checking the voter register and urging the voters to do register during MVR is a good cause. But to deny voters the right to register  from today (at Huduma centres for example) would most certainly be illegal.

And while we are writing this, the High Court has ordered an extension of even mass voter registration drive until a case that has been brought before it in this matter is heard this Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017.


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