IEBC to end dismal mass voter registration exercise despite court order
The mass voter registration will end today (Tuesday, November 2) despite the court extending the deadline by at least one week.
This is according to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission that insists there is no budget to extend the exercise even by a day.
“Our lawyers have gone to court, maybe the courts were not fully in the know when they made that decision, but the mass voter registration exercise can’t be extended,” IEBC Vice Chair Juliana Cherera told Citizen Digital.
The exercise that has been ongoing for a month has achieved little success with approximately 1 million new voters registering as opposed to 6.5 million Kenyans that IEBC had targeted to register.
“If the court order had been given with how we are going to get the funds for the extension it would have been perfect, but the youths that are registering need to be paid, they are not volunteering,” Cherera stated.
Cherera, however, said there are discussions on having a second mass voter registration exercise next year if the funds will be availed.
“So far there has been goodwill, but you know we can’t start making plans unless we have been assured of funds, and so the discussions are still ongoing both with the Treasury and parliament,” said the vice chair.
The Budget Committee Chair in the National Assembly Kanini Kega has previously been noncommittal if they will allocate more funds for the exercise, with the electoral body complaining of budgetary constraints even as they prepare for 2022 general elections.
In the month long exercise, IEBC has only been able to register approximately 20% of the 6.5 million new voters projected at the beginning of the exercise.