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What next after mass voter registration?

Are you an eligible Kenyan and had not registered when the voter listing ended on Sunday?

Do not worry, you still have a window until May 17.

Even with the mass voter registration closing on Sunday, High Court Judge Enoch Chacha Mwita ordered that the continuous registration continues until May 17, exactly 60 days to the August 8 general election.

But unlike the previous 65 days, when the mass voter registration occurred in 24,613 registration centres, the continuous registration has always been low-key.

CONSTITUENCY OFFICES

Registration only occur in the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) constituency offices and in the various Huduma Centres.

Justice Mwita’s order to extend mass voter listing by five days and an order that the listing continues until May 17 came after activist Okiya Omtatah challenged the commission’s plan of closing the registration after February 14.

Mr Omtata argued the decision to terminate the registration of voters five months to the election date was contrary to the Elections Act, 2011, which dictates that the same should be done until two months to the polls.

“Denying Kenyans three months within which they can register to vote will exclude a large population yet the ballot is the most potent weapon of governance where citizens have the mandate to elect the country’s political leaders,” Mr Omtata said.

CLEAN UP REGISTER

But the IEBC has argued that it should be given enough time to review the register and clean it up.

That having the registration continue even after a voter register audit was like having a moving target, and would force them to carry the same process over and over.

Meanwhile, all eyes will this week be on the IEBC to release the results of the mass voter listing.

By end of the third week, only 2.1 million Kenyans out of a target of 6.1 million had enlisted.

Between December 2012 and January 2017, an estimated nine million Kenyans had acquired IDs and were eligible to enlist as voters.