High Court orders IEBC to use Manual Register For Voter Identification

An image of a judge's gavel. PHOTO|COURTESY

The High Court has directed the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to use the manual register to identify voters in the August 9, polls.

Justice Mugure Thande trashed IEBC’s stand that they will only use an electronic mode of voter identification.

Justice Thande said the use of electronic voter register only will deny many eligible voters a chance to vote.

“IEBC’s decision not to use the printed voter register, there is a real risk of disenfranchising eligible voters. This court must therefore step in through its supervisory jurisdiction to ensure that the commission though independent operates subject to the law,” he said.

The IEBC had written to Azimio La Umoja coalition saying they will only use manual register if the KIEMS fails. 

Azimio Presidential candidate Raila Odinga on the other hand had said the use of a manual register is a must.

Raila even warned the IEBC that there will be no elections if the manual register is not used.

The new directive is a win for Kenyans and the Azimio team that pushed for the register.

Justice Mugure said technology is prone to failure and can also get lost hence the need to have a standby alternative to ensure continuity of the electoral process.

“However, its common knowledge that data and devices such as mobile phones and even computers which don’t require internet does get lost or corrupted or interfered with through criminal and human elements,” the court said.

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