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Woman seeks to extend voter registration over ID delay

A woman has moved to court seeking to extend the nationwide voter registration.

Merseline Awour Onyango has sued the Principal Registrar of Persons, the Independent Boundaries & Electoral Commission and the Attorney-General, arguing that the processing of her national identity card has been delayed for nearly five months..

Through lawyer Jackson Awele, Ms Onyango claims that since she applied for the ID on October 31, 2016 and received an acknowledgement slip in Wagai, Gem constituency, she has not received the document.

Ms Onyango, who fears she may miss out on the listing, said she complied will all the application requirements.

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She added that she has made at least 15 trips to her local registration centre to collect her ID only to be told it has not yet been processed by the head office in Nairobi.

“The continued delay is issuing her with a national ID is a fetter on her constitutional right to vote and self-determination.

“Unless this court intervenes as a matter of urgency, she will not be afforded another opportunity to participate in the electoral process until after five years,” Mr Awele said.

According to the amended Elections Act, for people to be registered as voters, they must present a national ID.

Ms Onyango attributes the delays she has experienced with an ineffectual design of administrative arrangement at the Principal Registrar of Person’s office.

The lawyer argued that the delay is unreasonable and unfair for she will be denied the right to vote.

“She has not been given reasonable grounds why her national ID cannot be released over 90 days since she applied,” he said.

Ms Onyango wants the Registrar of Persons compelled to release her ID at least 12 hours before February 14, 2017 at 5pm.

As an alternative, she wants the court to order that the voter registration set to end on February 14 be suspended at Nyagondo Primary School, West Gem Ward, Siaya County.

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