Friday, September 17, 2021

A Registration Process Racing Against Time

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Preparing a register of voters is not a one day affair. It is not limited to the listing of voters at registration centres. For the process to be transparent, free and fair it must be open to scrutiny.

This is why the registering officers are obliged to publish the lists of voters and registered voters are entitled to scrutinize these lists and make objections or appeal. Revising courts, acting as an oversight, are given up to 60 days to hear and decide on all objections and appeals. All this takes time.

Revising courts will commence sitting as from 6th September, 2021. This means that they have to complete their work by 5th November, 2021. They also have to give two days for objectors and appellants to give notice of appeal to the high court, if any.

Hence, assuming that there is no appeal to the high court, the revising court should complete its work not later than 7th November, and submit its revised list to the IEC. It is these lists that will constitute the master register of voters and copies this master register are what is referred to as the register of voters.

It is significant to note that nomination of presidential candidates commences on 30th October 2021. Hence the time spent by the revising courts in hearing and deciding on appeals and objections is significant.

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